Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga
The Federal Government Thursday inaugurated the Steering Committee that will develop the country’s National Code of Corporate Governance.
The inauguration of the Committee is in accordance with Section 119 (c) of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) Act No.6 of 2011, which empowers the Council as the only statutory body responsible for the development of code of corporate governance practices in both public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking during the event, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the committee would develop a unified Code of Corporate Governance that would enable the FRC to act "as the national coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to corporate governance in both private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy; promote the highest standards of corporate governance principles and practices and encourage sound systems of internal control and information systems control to safeguard stakeholders’ investment and assets of public interest entities, among other things."
He noted that the need for a comprehensive and mandatory National Corporate Governance Code became imperative given the current multiplicity of corporate governance codes across the country, adding that the new initiative would instill the culture of transparency, accountability and improve the country’s Doing Business Ranking.
Aganga 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.
Speaking during the event, the Chief Executive Officer, FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, said the agency was partnering the World Bank and other development partners to ensure the timely and successful completion of the project.