THE ROLE OF AN ACCOUNTANT IN THE POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMME OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA).

THE ROLE OF AN ACCOUNTANT IN THE POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMME OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (A CASE STUDY OF ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA).

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0            INTRODUCTION

The need to develop micro economic activities that could enhance self reliance as a strategy for educing poverty became paramount that the three tiers of government (federal, state, and local) came up with various initiatives.  Among these were programmes and policies that aimed at:

-         Stimulating economic growth through the engagement of semi-skilled and unskilled labour in productive activities.

-         Immediate reduction of social vices and tension in the society by removing idle hands from the streets.

-         Engage the unemployed in direct activities as a variable means of reflecting the economy.

-         Improve the environment latest environmental degradation

-         Minimize rural urban drift through the improvement of rural communities.

-         Committing the fund to direct benefit of the participants rather than on services or overheads.

To achieve these, machineries must be put in motion with competent professionals from various fields of endeavour to plan, implement, monitor and control the programmes and policies.  Among these is the role of the accountant.

1.1            PURPOSE OF THE PROBLEM

Among the major problems that have played the socio-political and economic life of developing nations are gross unemployment of her teeming population and poverty.  Among these nations include our country Nigeria.

          Poverty in Nigeria is pervasive.  About 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line.  Available statistics shows that only 50% of the population have access to safe water.  About 38% of the population do not have access to primary health care, while most Nigerians consume less than one third (1/3) of the minimum required protein and vitamins in take due to low purchasing power.

          These incidence were conpounded by over two decades of political instability, macro economic policy inconsistencies, low capacity utilization in indusories and the massive turn out of school leavers and graduates by institutions of higher learning.

          Suffice it to say that despite these, for three decades after independence, unemployment and poverty were not a national state or local concern in Nigeria as it is today.  However on inception of office in May, 1999, the Obasanjo administration took upon itself the major task of redressing the twin problem of poverty and employment generation.

          To this end therefore, the government with a high sense of commitment made a provision of  #10billion for the creation of two hundred thousand jobs in the year 2000.

          Worthy to mention was the fact that governments desire to eradicate poverty was born out of the conviction that the incidence of poverty and unemployment have assumed a dimension that is socially, economically and politically unacceptable.  To this end therefore, all hands must be on deck including not only the three tiers of government but also professional bodies and competent individuals among these includes the role of the accountant.

          The accountant performs the accounting function which involves the process of identifying, measuring, recording and communicating the economic event of an organization (business or non-business, government of non-government) to the process identification involves selecting those events that are considered as evidence of economic activities relevant to a particular entity.  (Wey Gandt, 1993).

          Once identified, the economic events must be measured in financial terms, that is quaritified innaira.  If the event cannot be quantified in monetary terms, it is not considered part of the organization financial information system.  The measurement function thereby eliminates some significant events because they lack measurability in financial terms.  These and many more are some of the functional roles of the accountant even as it applies to the poverty alleviation programme of the federal government.

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

          The importance of the accountant or the accounting profession can not be over-emphasized.  This stemmed from the fact the success of an organization lies very much on effective and effectual planning, implanting, monitoring and controlling its financial  flow thus, accounting is ingrained and vital to our economic activity.  Its relevance include the whole process of identifying, measuring recording and communicating the economic event of our organization to interested user of the information (Wey Gandt 1993).

          This role, no doubt permeates even to the poverty alleviation programme of the federal government.

          Enugu North Local Government is one of the three tiers of government, whose major task is to guarantee the efficient and effective implementation of the poverty alleviation programme at the grass root level.

          To achieve this therefore, a result oriented planning, implementation, monitoring and controlling of the financial resources must be put in place. The question that comes to mind therefore are:

What role should the accountant play in the implementation of poverty alleviation programme?

Is the role of the accountant of any relevance to the actualization of this programme?

          In other to answer these questions this study will critically evaluate the role of the accountant in the poverty alleviation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY  

          The objectives of this study among other things include:

To determine the role of the accountant in the poverty alleviation programme of Enugu North Local Government Area.

To determine whether the role of an accountant is of any relevance in the planning of programmes and policies of poverty alleviation in Enugu North Local Government Area.

To determine whether the role of the accountant is of any importance in the implementation of the poverty alleviation programme.

          To determine whether the role of the accountant is of any relevance in monitoring of the strategies of the poverty alleviation programme of Enugu North local Government Area.

To determine whether the role of the accountant will result in the actualization of the objectives of poverty alleviation in Enugu North Local Government Area.

1.4            RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

HO:   The role of the accountant is not relevant to the effective planning of the poverty alleviation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.

HI:  The role of the accountants is relevant to the effective planning of the poverty alleviation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.

HO2:  The role of the accountant is irrelevant to the successful implementation of the poverty alleviation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.

H2:  The role of the accountant is relevant to the successful implementation of the poverty alleviation programme in Enugu North Local Government Area.

HO3: The role of the accounted is irrelevant in the monitoring and controlling of the poverty alleviation programme of Enugu North Local Government Area.

H3:  The role of the accountant is relevant in the monitoring and controlling of the poverty alleviation programme of Enugu North Local Government Area.

1.5            SCOPE

This project focused on the activities and the role the accountant played in the poverty alleviation programme of the federal Government in Enugu North Local Government Area. The responsibilities attached to the programme that was established by the federal Government to help the less privileged, the unemployed in the society and so on.  It covers the activities that happened or happening in Enugu North Local Government.

          Area concerning the role of the accountant in the poverty alleviation programme of the federal Government.  The accountant has to discharge his/her civil responsibilities in the programme within the geographical area i.e Enugu North Local Government Area.

LIMITATION

Suffice it to say that this study may not be termed comprehensive due to limitations imposed by:

-         Financial constratints

Financial was one of the major contraint that limited the study.  This is consequent of the fact that the researcher’s sources of financial support was not able to adequately take care of her academic financial responsibilities and the project work.

- Time constraint:

          Another major constraint that affected this study was time. This was due to the fact that the study was conducted amidst normal academic studies.  To this end therefore, it was difficult for the researcher to meet up some of the appointments with respondens.

-         Unavailability of materials:

Another major constraint to this study was unavailability of materials.  The poverty alleviation programme is a new economic concept adopted by the federal Government hence, not doubt limited the study as the researcher had difficulties in sourcing out for these materials.

1.6            SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Candidly, this study will be of immense benefit to the economic programmes of the federal government and its citizenry.  As details analysis will be carried out on the elevate of the accountant  in the successful planning, implementation and actualization of the objectives of the poverty alleviation programme.

          Secondly, the study will also be of great benefit to the entire citizenry of Enugu North Local Government Area as it will provide move result oriented ways of implementing the policies and programmes of poverty alleviation within the local government.

          Again the study will be of great benefit to both the researcher and the reader as information contained will provided an in-depth understanding and knowledge in the area of investigation which could stir up further enquiry.

1.7            DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

Accountant – Professional keeper or verifier of accounts he serves as or

provides explanation as regards to income and expenditure.

Poverty alleviation – Making poorness, scarcity or lack less severe by the

three tiers of government.

Professional _ A person that belongs to or connected with accounting.  He is

skillful, competent and worthy of the profession (accounting).

Policy – Course of action adopted by the government on how to make

poverty less sever.

Grass root – Ordinary people or less privileged ones who need the assistance

of the government to come above this level.

Public Accounting- Accounting records prepared on behalf of the state or in

the public interest.

Planning -  Planning requires management to look ahead and to establish

objectives.  These objectives are desired at maximizing short

term profits and market shares.

Control – Is the process of keeping the firms activities on track.  Here the

management accountant determines whether planned goals are

being met or if there are deviations from target objectives.






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