SEC Ag. DG Urges PEARL Awards to Evaluate Firms on Corporate Governance

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Thursday, March 19, 2015 9.51AM/SEC

Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, has urged PEARL Awards to give prominence to the corporate governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance of companies in their evaluation of public quoted companies for awards.

Gwarzo made this call when he received members of the Governing Board of Performance, Earnings and Returns Leadership (PEARL) Awards Nigeria in his office in Abuja, Wednesday. The delegation was led by Chairman of the Board, Alh. U.F. Abdullahi, former Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and members like the President/CEO of PEARL Awards Nigeria, Mr. Tayo Orekoya, Prof. Herbert Orji, Chairman of National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Wole Adetunji a former DG of SEC as well as Dr. Faruk Umar, President of the Association for Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders.

According to him “One issue that is very critical in the capital market is Corporate Governance. "I appeal that in your selection process for awards, emphasis should be given to the quality of compliance to best corporate governance practices by companies. This should be an important consideration in addition to the financial performance of companies. I think similar attention should also be paid to the kind of CSR projects companies embark on and how those projects are impacting the society”.

The Ag. DG assured his visitors of the SEC’s continued support for PEARL Awards and commitment to promoting corporate governance across the country, being the only institution to have completed a robust corporate governance scorecard to be released soon.

Speaking earlier, President of PEARL Awards, Tayo Orekoya, commended the management of the SEC for its efforts to return the market to the path of sustainable growth and development adding that the giant strides and remarkable achievements of the new management within a short period of time are being felt across the capital market community.

Orekoya said “there is no doubt that expectations are high, with investors earnestly looking forward to continuous pragmatic positive changes in the stock market under your able leadership. We are convinced that with your experience and exposure both as operator and regulator, the Nigerian Capital Market would be steadily stabilized and witness remarkable growth”.

While intimating the SEC Management of the activities lined up for the 20th anniversary of PEARL Awards, the President explained that they identify and reward actual performance of companies quoted on the stock exchange, saying that the awards process was based on verifiable facts and figures assessed utilizing credible and globally acceptable parameters. He further disclosed that since inception, over 75 quoted companies have been rewarded in various categories of the awards.

PEARL Awards Nigeria was instituted in 1995 as a not-for-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental organization, to reward companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange for outstanding operational performance and excellence with a goal of enhancing the vibrancy, growth and development of the Nigerian capital Market.

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