Minister seeks stakeholders’ support for unified governance code

Okechukwu Enalamah, Min. of Trade, Industry & Investment

Okechukwu Enalamah,<br />Min. of Trade, Industry & Investment

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah has stressed the need for stakeholders in the various sectors to support efforts by the Financial Reporting Councils (FRC) effort to ensure a seamless implementation of the National Code for Corporate Governance (NCCG) in the country.

Besides, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Obazee, yesterday, announced that the operation of NCCG for private sector and not-for-profit entities would commence by the first quarter of next year.

The minister, who spoke at the 12th yearly FRC summit and dinner, held in Lagos on Tuesday, explained that seamless implementation would improve corporate governance structure in public, private and not-for-profit organizations.

He added that it would also attract the needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and boost employment generation in the country.

Enelamah, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mallam Ajiya Mamman explained that the purpose of corporate governance is to facilitate effective entrepreneurial and prudent management that can deliver the long-term success of an entity.

Enelamah also submitted that corporate governance a major area that requires regulatory and institutional reform, adding that instituting the appropriate regulation is the foundation for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

He, therefore, advocated for a clear, unambiguous and documented policies for enterprises regulation in Nigeria, noting that globally, regulatory reforms and structures are usually put in place to ensure that entities strengthen their corporate governance systems continually, as well as focus on shareholder relations and accountability.

This, according to him, would ultimately improve the performance of boards of directors, auditors and the accounting function.

“As you are aware, this administration is poised to bring about genuine reforms and improve the ease of doing business in the country. Similarly, institutional investors, accountants, auditors and the general public are increasingly aware of a continuing need to promote corporate governance reforms.

“Scandals such as Enron, WorldCom, Parmalat etc, are still fresh in our memories, have driven home this need for constant reforms. The purpose of corporate governance is to facilitate effective, entrepreneurial and prudent management that can deliver the long-term success of an entity,” he added.

In his welcome address, Obazee explained that the moment the council concludes the yearly summit, it would focus on setting the code for operation adding that the code for public sector would be effective within the first half of 2016.

“Once we conclude this summit we will definitely progress with it. In the first quarter of next year, the private sector and non-profit entities will be in operation. For the public sector code, we still intend to go to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) because there are already corporate governance structures within legislations of different government bodies.

“We need the government to make a pronouncement wherein there will be like a general harmonization that says that irrespective of what you are must comply with the NCCG for public sector. That is to say we cannot begin to say when it will happen but within the first six months, we will be able to secure the nod of the government.”

He identified weak corporate governance as the major causes of corporate failures, accounting scandals and financial crisis around the world, noting that this informed the Federal Governments decision to adopt a NCCG which was aimed at raising the standard of operating entities in Nigeria.

With the theme: ‘National Code of Corporate Governance: A New dawn in Compliance’, Obazee maintained that the summit was organised to educate the public on the revised code and as a second public hearing especially on the revised areas.

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