How To Become A Chartered Accountant In Nigeria (2023)

This post will guide you with information on how to become a chartered accountant in Nigeria this 2023. As is the case with every other course or discipline studied in Nigerian universities, accounting or accountancy is not easy. You will need a lot of motivation and the mathematical prowess to go through the finish line.

How To Become a Chartered Accountant in Nigeria

Once you become a graduate in this field, you will also be required to take expensive professional courses to become chartered and this is where many accounting graduates fall short due to lack of motivation or the finance to become chartered but it is worth it in the end. Kindly note that in Nigeria, without being chartered, you are not a professional accountant and will be limited to the kind of jobs you get with just your university certificate.

One of the positives of being a chartered accountant is that you will be exposed to lucrative job offers and the opportunities to climb your career ladder up to the very pinnacle of success which you can attain professionally in the field of accounting or accountancy. When you have decided that this is the profession of your dreams, you will need to determine the area of this chosen field that you want to major in, whether it is financial accounting, forensics accounting, tax accounting, government accounting, management accounting, audit accounting, to mention but a few.

Having said all that, we will now look at what you need to do to become a chartered or professional accountant in Nigeria.


If you want to become a chartered accountant in Nigeria this 2023, you will need to take note of the following:


First things first, your journey to becoming an accountant in the country starts with your secondary school education, that is after you must have completed your primary school education. Once you get to SS1, you are required to join the commercial class and if you are in schools where commercial and arts subjects are treated under one department, then being in the arts class should do. Take subjects like English Language, Mathematics, Account and Book Keeping, Commerce, and Economics very seriously and pass them comprehensively when you sit for WAEC and NECO exams.

These two bodies are responsible for organizing O’level exams in West Africa and Nigeria respectively and you are required to pass your O’level exams with at least 5 credits in your core subjects in at least two sitting. Passing at one sitting is even better. Once you scale through, you are awarded your SSCE certificate and your secondary school education ends here, meaning that your journey into the tertiary institution begins.


A degree in accounting from a tertiary institution in the country is what your next step should be once you are through with your secondary education. You are expected to take your course seriously and pass your exams very well so as to avoid any delays in your graduation. It takes at least four years to study accounting in Nigerian tertiary institutions.


Once you are through with your tertiary education, the next step towards becoming chartered as an accountant is getting a professional certificate from any of the top certifying bodies in the country.

Some of the professional accounting certifications include the following:

  • ICAN
  • ACA
  • ANAN
  • ACCA and
  • CIMA.

ICAN is the most popular accounting certification in Nigeria currently. It is also a professional accounting certifying body that shares its name with its certification. This professional body was founded in 1965. Its certification course is divided into:

Accounting Technician Scheme (ATS): Often held twice a year usually in March and September. It is in three stages; ATS 1, 2 and 3. If you have a degree in accounting/accountancy, you may be exempted from ATS 1 and ATS 2.

Professional Examination: This examination is in three stages. The Intermediate, P.E 1 and P.E 2. As is the case with ATS, the examinations take place twice a year, May and November. Once you pass this examination, you will be certified as a Chartered Accountant by ICAN.


It takes at least three years to become a chartered accountant in Nigeria. Depending on the professional certification you are currently on.


Below is a list of all universities in the the country that offers accounting/accountancy currently.

  • Abia State University, Uturu
  • Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  • American University of Nigeria, Yola
  • Bauchi State University, Gadau, Bauchi State
  • Benue State University, Makurdi
  • Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu
  • Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli
  • Cross Rivers University of Technology, Calabar
  • Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki
  • Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
  • Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State
  • Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu
  • Evangel University, Akaeze, Ebonyi State
  • Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi
  • Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State
  • Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State
  • Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State
  • Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin City
  • Imo State University, Owerri
  • Lead City University, Ibadan
  • Madonna University, Okija
  • Mcpherson University, Seriki Sotayo, Ogun State
  • Nasarawa State University, Keffi
  • Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
  • Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
  • Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye
  • Osun State University, Osogbo
  • Plateau State University, Bokkos
  • Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt
  • University of Abuja
  • University of Lagos, Akoka
  • University of Maiduguri
  • University of Mkar, Gboko
  • University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
  • University of Port-Harcourt, Choba
  • University of Uyo
  • Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
  • Wellspring University, Irhihi/Ogbaneki, Benin City
  • Western Delta University, Oghara, Delta State


Below is a list of polytechnics that offer accounting/accountancy in the country currently:

  • Abdul-Gusau Polytechnic, Talata-Mafara, Zamfara State.
  • Abia State Polytechnic, Aba
  • Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State
  • Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi
  • Adamawa State Polytechnic, Yola
  • Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, Afikpo
  • Akwa Ibom State College of Arts and Science Nung, Ukim
  • Akwa-Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot-Osurua
  • Allover Central Polytechnic, Ota, Ogun
  • Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi
  • Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science
  • Yenagoa, Bayelsa State
  • Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo
  • College of Administrative and Business Studies, Potiskum, Yobe State
  • College of Technology, Iresi, Osun State
  • Covenant Polytechnic, Aba
  • Crown Polytechnic, Odo Ado-Ekiti
  • S. Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori
  • Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku
  • Delta State Polytechnic, Otefe
  • Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro
  • Dorben Polytechnic, Bwari-Garam Road, Fct-Abuja
  • Eastern Polytechnic, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  • Edo State Institute of Technology and Management
  • Federal Polytechnic Offa
  • Federal Polytechnic, Bali
  • Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi
  • Federal Polytechnic, Bida
  • Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu
  • Federal Polytechnic, Ede
  • Federal Polytechnic, Ida
  • Federal Polytechnic, Kaura/Namoda
  • Federal Polytechnic, Mubi
  • Federal Polytechnic, Nassarawa
  • Federal Polytechnic, Nekede
  • Federal Polytechnic, Oko
  • Federal Polytechnic,Ilaro
  • Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti
  • Federal Polytechnic, Uka
  • Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko
  • Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Saapade, Ogun State
  • Grace Polytechnic, Lagos
  • Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Katsina
  • Heritage Polytechnic, Ikot Udota
  • Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure
  • Igbajo Polytechnic
  • Igbo-Owu Polytechnic, Kwara State
  • Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Owerri
  • Institute of Management And Technology, Enugu
  • Interlink Polytechnic, Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State
  • Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse
  • Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna
  • Kalac Christal Polytechnic, Lekki, Lagos
  • Kano State Polytechnic, Kano
  • Kings Polytechnic, Ubiaja
  • Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja
  • Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, Kwara State
  • Lagos City Polytechnic, Ikeja, Lagos State
  • Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu
  • Light House Polytechnic, Eubuobanosa, Edo State
  • Mai Idris Alooma Polytechnic, Geidam, Yobe State
  • Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta
  • Nacabs Polytechnic, Akwanga, Nasarawa State
  • Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia
  • Niger State Polytechnic, Zungeru
  • Nogak Polytechnic, Mile 2 Road, Ikom, Cross River State
  • Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria
  • Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, Ogun State
  • Our Saviour Institute Of Science and Technology (Poly) Enugu, Enugu State
  • Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi
  • Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri
  • Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt
  • Rivers State Poly, Bori
  • Ronik Polytechnic, Ikeja, Lagos
  • Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo
  • Temple-Gate Polytechnic, Osisioma, Abia State
  • Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State
  • The Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, Osun State
  • Uyo City Polytechnic, Uyo (Uyo-Citypoly) Uyo Akwa-Ibom State
  • Valley View Polytecnic, Ohafia, Abia State
  • Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic Birnin Kebbi
  • Wolex Polytechnic, Ikeja, Lagos
  • Yaba College of Technology, Yaba

The Author

Maduawuchi Obialo

Maduawuchi Obialo is the founder of Nigerian Guide and the Editor-in-Chief at Nigerian Infopedia. He is a professional Web Content Developer and a Biochemist.


Add a Comment
  1. Jumbo Angelina Lazarus

    Can someone start an Ican program with national diploma and later finish it after there higher national diploma

    1. Hi Angelina, you’ll need either a university degree or a higher national diploma from the polytechnic in order to pursue an ICAN certification

      1. Iloanya Mary Ezinne

        I want to Go for ICAN with National Diploma is it possible

  2. Hello, can a insurance or business management degree holders go for ICAN ..??

    1. Hello Victor, sure you can apply for ICAN if you have an insurance or business management degree (BSc or HND) and you will be exempted from the following courses Quantitative Techniques in Business, and Business and Finance when you pay the required exemption fees.

  3. When you write your Ican exams, what is the name of the certificate you are given.

  4. As indicated above . to my understanding, if I have a ND certificate I can skip both ATS 1&2. And write 3. And my question is after successfully passing the ATS 3 exam, can I go for the ICAN exam without HND or BSC cert

  5. Hi, if you have a degree and a post graduate diploma in applied accounting science in south Africa and what to complet as a chartered accountant (registered with ICAN) in Nigeria, what will be required of me?

  6. Hi,if I have a degree in accounting and still want to go for the ATS 1,2 and 3,will I be permitted?

  7. Can someone with a degree in Agricultural Economics go for ICAN

    1. Hi Marcel, it is very likely but we are not giving any guarantees on the answer. Kindly visit any ICAN office in your area and make enquiries.

  8. I studied economics in federal university lokoja so can I write Ican exams pls

    1. I studied computer science at the National Open University of Nigeria, but I worked as an accountant and it has made me to love accounting so much. Please can I further more with ICAN?

  9. Sunday Taiye Daniel

    Please can I apply for ICAN with my SSCE certificate only

    1. Hi Sunday, yes you can apply for ICAN with your SSCE certificate but you will have to start from the scratch and pass your exams up to the professional level. With your SSCE certificate, you will be starting at ICAN Foundation Level

  10. I’m an accounting student 100l and I want to start the ICAN stuffs. How do I go about it please?

    1. Hi Jonah, kindly visit the nearest ICAN office in your area for further enquiries.

  11. I find your site very helpful. Keep it up, it is also good that you respond to questions here. Big kudos

  12. I have an NCE in primary Education
    What is required of me to write ICAN and be a chartered accountant?

  13. Festus Oluwatoyin Dorcas

    Can I have your number and chat you privately? I’ll really need you to mentor me on how to achieve this dream of becoming a chartered accountant in Nigeria.

    1. Hi Dorcas, kindly contact the admin via email at

  14. Safiyanu ladan kambari

    A Graduate of polytechnic student can he go for ICAN?

    1. Can someone apply for ICAN with NCE as a graduate from Accounting education certificate holder? And what stage will the person start his ICAN Program.

  15. I studied Business Education (Accounting option) DM AT NCE level. Will I still be exempted from ATS 1 and 2?

    1. Hi Odufade, you can only be exempted if you have an accounting degree from an ICAN accredited university or polytechnic.

  16. I have HND accountancy, what ICAN courses will I write?

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