MEANING OF ACCOUNTABILITY
The word accountability according to Hornby was derived from the word accountable, which means adjunct something, responsible for your decisions or actions and expected to explain them when you are accountable to the voter”. The accountability of a company is from director to shareholder.
CONCEPT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY
According to Hornby (2000) financial is a noun connected with money and finance e.g. financial service institution, to give financial advice, assistance support to be in financial difficulties, as independent financial advice”.
From the above generalization, it could be seen that financial deals with management of money or anything involving monetary transaction. The extract from above shows that financial accountability usually involves ability to give explanation of stewardship of money or any other economic resources and assets, therefore the term stewardship accounting is very important in the process of explaining the issue of financial accountability.
PROBLEMS OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Poor accountability of scarce financial resources in any economy is the symptom of underdevelopment. This is because most leaders are not in mood to tolerate any serious patriotic and imaginative effective leadership committed to genuine liquidation of underdevelopment.
The result of these actions according to Akiusulire (2005) can be traced from the following angle.
Government policies: government policies since independence has only favoured some selected individual to the detriment of the entire society. For example, the policy of indigenization of foreign companies, privatization and commercialization policies, import licenses and host of many others have only favoured few individuals at expense of the whole society thereby leading to poor accountability in the country.
Uncertainty about the future and other social evil: uncertainty of the future political situation, poverty, inequality, burden of social responsibilities, inflation and other social vices have also made some public officers to join the bandwagon of the political bureaucrats or the military leaders in materialism. In most cases, it is believed that public leader who take accountability as their desired goal are often regarded as foolish after occupying such offices without achievement material wealth. It is believed that of most Nigerians who occupy public officers does that only to amass wealth which is a panacea for riding flashy cares and the host of others.
- The political class: most people in Nigeria believe that the political career is the quickest means of amassing wealth. This is because politics has be commercialized and made assessable only to the wealthy individuals (Samson 2009). However, the most disheartening thing about the whole exercise is that most of the politicians’ priority after election is wealth acquisition. This in effect, negates other development efforts in different sectors of economy
- Political advisers: the greatest problem in financial accountability is the ill- advice of the political advisers. Most of the so called political advisers give pieces of advice that are detrimental to the welfare of the whole society. Sometimes some of them who are political jokers give pieces of advice that will discredit the government in power in the interest of their selfish aims. This idea according to Akintoye (2008) disrupts the activities of the government because most of them are appointed as political advisers lack merit in their academic pursuit thereby resulting to low foresight in economic policies and programmes.
- Political praises: the policies of the government are sometimes thwarted when personal policy is pursued in expense of society policies. This arises if the government in power is erring in his administration instead of correction goes about using public funds for unnecessary Champaign for support. This contributes to wastage and poor accountability in public sector. Likewise, most people who are used as political praise singers to the government do so in efforts to have their private pocket enriched (Akintoye 2008).
PROSPECTS OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY:
- Societal benefit: societal benefit exists when the society at large benefits in one way or the other in the project execution by the government. For instance, if project execution in a certain area leads to creation of employment to the masses and even distribution of wealth to the society directly or indirectly, it will result to increase in income and demand thereby resulting in high or improved standard of living. In this case, societal benefit is ascertained since individuals welfare are improved from such projects (lawal 1995).
- Individual benefit: whether an individual has derived real benefit from government programme depends on what they are able to make out of the programme executed. If for instance, the programme is able to change their way of living by making them wiser, happier and more adjusted individual then it has been before, then there is real benefit from the programme.
- Business and industrial benefits: since the aim of any private organization is to make profit, it then means that industrial and business benefits in any environment depend on the demand for their products.
This will be eminent when the priority of the government is channeled towards the payment of workers’ salaries and allowances. Usually, prompt payment of working class benefit increases the demand of their products. Consequently, such demand increases the quantity and the quality of the products produced by the industrialist. In alternative, if project executed by the government entails hoarding of public funds by few individuals, it will negate benefits accruing to business and industrial establishment.
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