The Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Abayomi Oriyomi has emphasised the importance of social skills for accountants working in the Lagos State Public Service, saying that possessing social skills, including emotional intelligence, is essential for unlocking creativity and innovation.
Speaking during the Opening Ceremony of the Y2024 Retreat for Directors of Finance and Accounts held in Epe on Friday with the theme: “Unleash Your Potential for Excellence Through Innovation and Creativity”, the Commissioner highlighted the need for Accountants to go beyond cognitive and academic qualifications.
He referred to the present annual budgetary proposal of Lagos State, which he said, is not sufficient to meet the development aspirations of Lagosians that keep expanding every day.
The Commissioner, however, urged Accountants to think creatively and innovatively to expand the government’s revenue, ensuring that the annual budget aligns with the level of development befitting Lagos.
Earlier, the Special Adviser, Office of Internal Audit, Dr. Oyeyemi Ayoola, FCA, emphasised the need for Accountants to be widely knowledgable beyond the management of finance and accounts, stressing that they must develop an interest in all the activities of their respective Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government.
According to Dr. Ayoola, Accountants are expected to act as financial advisers in government, going beyond their traditional roles by thinking outside the box and contributing to various aspects of decision-making and strategy development within their organisations.
In the same vein, the Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue to the Governor, Mr. Abdulkabir Ogungbo, in his goodwill message implored Accountants to identify loopholes in government expenses and block the identified leakages to save more money for the implementation of additional developmental projects.
He said that a framework that will guide the process of government revenue among all revenue-generating MDAs is currently being developed for uniformity purposes, urging the Finance and Accounts Directors to adhere to the provisions of the framework when it becomes operational.
Speaking on the theme; “Unleash Your Potential for Excellence Through Innovation and Creativity,” the Permanent Secretary/Accountant-General, Dr. Abiodun Muritala maintained that the theme resonates deeply and emphasises the fact that confronting the emerging challenges of today demands unprecedented solutions.
He said: “As Finance and Accounts Officers of the Lagos State Government, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the public which we must embrace with utmost professionalism bearing in mind that our functions are pivotal in shaping the economy of our great State.
“Our time together is not just an opportunity to discuss technical and topical financial issues; it is a call to action, a summon to explore innovative and creative avenues that will propel us to new heights”.
While noting that Lagos State and the world at large face multifaceted challenges, from economic uncertainties to global disruptions Dr. Muritala averred that what is needed to confront these challenges is not just adaptation but proactive and ingenious responses that go beyond conventional boundaries.
He encouraged participants at the Retreat to take ownership of their roles in the T.H.E.M.E.S Plus agenda of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in achieving the common goal of the Greater Lagos vision.
The Permanent Secretary, Public Service Office (PSO), Mrs. Sunkanmi Oyegbola harped on the need for public servants to be in a good mental state as only mentally stable officers can continue to be innovative and creative.
As a way of re-awakening mental alertness among civil servants, the Permanent Secretary revealed that the Head of Service, Mr. Olabode Agoro has approved a monthly Walk For Fitness for staff to help them keep fit and mentally stable.
She reiterated that the Lagos State Government is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and creativity among its accountants, enabling them to make significant contributions to the development of Lagos.
In their submissions, the Permanent Secretaries of Tourism, Mrs. Oloruntoyin Atekoja and her counterpart from the Office of Internal Audit, Mrs. Kikelomo Dawodu, affirmed that the Retreat will serve as an avenue for the incubation of ideas that will help fortify the accounting profession.
While affirming that accountants within the employ of the State Government have the inherent potential to innovate ideas, the duo called on the Accountants to live above board by providing solutions beyond conventional boundaries.