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IFC, SECO introduce corporate governance programme

By on May 20, 2015

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, says it has collaborated with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland to introduce the Africa Corporate Governance Programme to Nigerian companies.

A statement by the IFC said the programme would help to support economic and business expansion in the country.

“The programme aims to improve the performance of businesses by helping them to adopt good corporate governance practices and standards that are adapted to regional priorities; improved corporate governance helps businesses attract and retain investment, among other benefits,” the statement added.

The IFC said the formal programme launch was organised to raise awareness of the cross-sectorial reach of activities, and set the pace for a programme that would eventually include encouragement of improved policies, standard-setting, network events, and regional outreach programmes.

The Regional and Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Uyi Akpata, who was the guest speaker at the launch, was quoted as emphasising the need for business operators to move beyond setting corporate governance rules into adopting behaviours that establish the practice of good corporate governance in everyday business decisions.

The IFC Regional Corporate Governance Lead for Africa, Roman Zyla, provided a presentation on the impact of improved corporate governance practices in multiple countries.

“The adoption of good corporate governance practices has demonstrated increased productivity in businesses in country after country,” he noted.

The IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, Eme Essien Lore, said, “The IFC is committed to promoting good corporate governance practices that will help businesses become more sustainable and contribute to long term economic growth.

“When businesses adopt these practices, they are able to improve their performance and attract more investment. IFC and SECO are jointly offering businesses the opportunity to adopt good corporate governance practices and improve their overall performance.”

The IFC’s corporate governance intervention in Nigeria was introduced in 2008, through the Nigerian Corporate Governance Banking Programme, which focused on financial institutions.

According to the statement, the AfCGP will seek to build on the progress already made within the Nigerian financial sector and strive for similar success across a wide range of sectors in the Nigerian economy and West Africa.

The AfCGP is funded by the SECO, Switzerland and IFC is the implementing partner for the programme.

SECO is Switzerland’s competence centre for all core issues relating to economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve sustainable growth. Such growth is sustainable if it creates jobs, helps to increase productivity, to reduce poverty, inequalities and global risks.