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Corporate Governance: FG swears in committee on new code

By on January 18, 2013

The Federal Government is advocating for new laws that will steer corporate governance in the country towards an enviable state.

Section 119 (c) of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Act No.6 of 2011 backs the move for amendment and development of suitable guidelines to that effect.

Its gives the council powers to mark changes and develop a suitable code for corporate governance that will affect all sectors of the economy.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during a event. He said the inaugurated committee will build an integrated code of corporate governance that would help the FRC in fashioning models for internal control, protect investments, public interests among others.

He said, “I must say that this administration views the issuance of a National Code of Corporate Governance as a very important deliverable that can be used to enhance our national competitiveness and address some socio-economic issues, including corruption and lack of independence.

“It is also an opportunity to raise the bar in the public and private sectors, and to ensure that there are stiff penalties and that directors are personally liable for their actions and inactions. All of these are efforts aimed at improving our investment climate and foreign direct investment flows and enhancement of our competitiveness and international perception.

He added, “If you look at the global crises (financial and banking crises), a lot of them have been traced to failure in corporate governance. There is a difference between managing a company or corporation and the board.

“The board determines in many ways the values and culture of an entity and plays a big role in terms of improving the competitiveness, profitability, and productivity of those entities.

“One of the things that we haven’t had for so many years is an effective corporate governance code for the whole country that is harmonised. Although we have something from the regulators, all of them are addressing the issue in terms of regulatory matters but there is not one code that is comprehensive and harmonised.

“So, this is the first time that we are having a comprehensive corporate governance code. This will help to improve our Doing Business ranking.”

According to the Minister, there was need for a code now, more than ever because of the multiplicity of codes as seen almost everywhere.

He said the development would instil transparency and accountability.