Stakeholders X-Ray Nigerian 2018 Corporate Governance Code at IOD and FRCN Forum

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Monday, April 08, 2019 7:30AM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV /Header Image Credit: @TheIoDNigeria 

 

The Institute of Directors of Nigeria in partnership with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria recently hosted a stakeholders forum  that explored the “Trends in Global Corporate Governance, the Big picture and lessons for Nigeria”. 

It had as keynote speaker Dr. Chris Pierce CEO of Global Governance Services Ltd, and a renowned personality in the global corporate governance space. 

The forum also discussed the “2018 Nigerian Corporate Governance Code” and featured a panel session. 

Dr Pierce in his remarks said “The tone at the top is extremely important in order to change an organization. It doesn’t really matter which country you are from, I can find good  governance companies or bad governance companies, it really depends on the board of the company, the Chairman to the lowest officials”. 

Giving insight into developments that have occurred in global corporate governance, Pierce said , “In the last nine months the current UK FRC has  been looking at new regulations,  because the code has not been enforced properly. They are also considering new developments in the globe like blockchain technology”. 

He was of the view that FRC (Financial Reporting Council) and IOD (Institute of Directors) should be looking at the impact of new technological developments like blockchain upon governance. Pierce also noted that the UK FRC was also looking at business model reporting, performance metrics and SBRL and the language for publishing reports. 

Speaking further Pierce said they are also currently working on defining board effectiveness linking it to the companies Act and they are equally talking about remuneration, where the CEO’s review can be compared to the average salary or remuneration within a business. 

Pierce also discussed sustainability reporting, which he believed Nigeria should be playing a leading role globally.  “There are a lot of frameworks outside their for sustainability performance. Nigeria should be considering sustainability reporting and sustainability development goals. Many organizations report against sustainable development goals (SDGs),which the United Nation produces annually”, he said. 

The CEO of Global Governance Services Limited emphasised the need for report integration, stating that it will serve as a point of reference and guide for the nation in the continuous process of reforming the business environment, as it concerns governance. 

The corporate governance expert lauded the Nigeria FRC code of corporate governance.  He stated that having a robust governance framework was vital to enhancing Nigeria’s business governance index globally.

Former President of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria Ms. Bennedikter Chima Molokwu who was one of the panelists said the 2018 Nigerian Corporate Governance Code was an embodiment of aspirations for the nation.

She was of the view that the code is designed to raise governance levels in different corporations, and has the intention of creating ownership of governance in companies themselves.  For her “It is not an FRC code, it is a code that should belong to the boards”.

The MD/CEO of Proshare Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi who is a member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria in his intervention as a panelist at the event said “ If we do not move away from the punishment mindset and move to what way you are building good habits and rewarding the outcomes  from pursuing appropriate behaviour, you are not actually building the society in the right way”.

Awoyemi stressed the need for a governance code framework that looks at companies giving good examples and pursing good governance practices.

He was of the opinion that the Nigerian 2018 corporate governance code had a unique opportunity to move from naming and shaming to naming and faming.

Awoyemi identified the X Compliance framework of the Nigeria Stock Exchange as an example of an effective corporate governance model.

He emphasized the need for a governance framework that rewarded good conduct rather than focus on sanctioning.

In an interview with Proshare WebTV the keynote speaker, Dr. Pierce, said the first thing is for all the boards appointed to discuss the code, and see how the principles will be applied.

“The company secretary, the Chairman, and the CEO should then consider how to implement the corporate governance principles within the organization and we will be looking at issues such as the composition and structure of the board, the training and the development of the board, the evaluation of the board, information governance areas, and policies the board need to produce” Pierce said.

 

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