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Corporate governance, pathway to economic growth – Stakeholders

By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos

THE Institute of Directors Centre for Corporate Governance (IoDCCG), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) have restated their commitments sound corporate governance.

Mr Shuaibu Ahmed, Executive Secretary, FRC, said at a press conference in Lagos, that promoting sound corporate governance was important to the council as it was part of its mandate.

“In 2019 the financial reporting council unveiled National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG 2018), and since the unveiling of that code, it has been a tremendous success.

“All the listed and regulated entities have been complying, we’ve seen better governance of the affected entities and because of the success of NCCG 2018, the government recently approved that its Biller Code should be developed for public sector, for not-for-profit, as well as for SMEs.

“And we’re working with both ICSAN, IoD and other stakeholders in the development of these new codes,” he said.

To provide a platform to further promote corporate governance, Ahmed said a national summit would be convened that would create a sustainable pathway for Nigeria’s economic development and growth.

Ahmed said the summit was part of awareness creation, capacity building and networking in the field of corporate governance.

Dr Seye Awojobi, Registrar, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Co-Chairman, National Organising Committee of the summit, said about 350 participants would attend the summit both physically and virtually.

He said the participants would include public and private sector leaders, chief executive officers, captains of industry, thought leaders, members of the diplomatic community, entrepreneurs and owners of family businesses/MSMEs.

Awojobi said the two-day event, to hold from Nov. 7 to 8 in Lagos, would have five sub-themes and would also reach out to undergraduates to ensure that the culture of sound corporate governance was imbibed at an early stage.

The summit, which would be the maiden edition, would have, “Building a Strong and Virile Economy: The Role of Corporate Governance,” as theme.

“With the COVID 19 pandemic, the emerging corporate governance environment became characterised by pressures and demands from various stakeholders, increased expectations of engagement with societal and environmental factors, coupled with uncertainty about the future.

“These factors were complicating decision-making processes and challenging the traditional models of governance.

“It became imperative that public and private organisations were to become more intentional in implementing sound governance practices and adapt the corporate governance framework to address some of the challenges brought by changing environmental variables,’’ Awojobi said.

He also said the theme of the summit would highlight the imperative of practical application of the principles and practices of corporate governance as espoused in the National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG 2018), other relevant sectoral codes and extant laws.

The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who would be the Special Guest of Honour, would declare open the event, while, Dr Okey Enelamah, Chairman African Capital Alliance and Immediate Past Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, would be the chairman of the occasion.

The Keynote address, he said would be presented by Mr. Mohammed Ahmad, Chairman of the Board, Polaris Bank Ltd.

Mr Taiwo Owokalade, President, ICSAN, said the institute was excited to partner with others to promote corporate governance in Nigeria as governance was what it does and stood for.

“So when we saw this opportunity to be part and parcel of this great narrative, we were excited because it goes to the heart of that same thing that we are already talking about.

“We also realise that it is good enough for the Nigerian environment because governance is not a destination, but a journey.

“We must ensure that we keep working on this journey not just within the local partners, but we also trying to benchmark ourselves with the global partners.

“So, when you are developing governance and thinking global, you have to also think local because all these issues will be properly put in perspective toward ensuring that we get the Nigerian environment right,” he said.

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