FRC Highlights Benefits of Proposed Unified Code of Corporate Governance

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Obinna Chima
The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), Mr. Jim Obazee has said the proposed National Code of Corporate Governance (NCCG) will help raise standard of running entities in Nigeria.

In his address at the final public hearing on the draft NCCG in Lagos, Obazee said the importance of corporate governance for success as well as national development cannot be ignored.

Obazee further said the code, when operational, would come with numerous benefits among which are; increased management credibility, more long-term investments, lower cost of capital, improved access to new capital, higher share values, more disclosures in accounts, better investment decisions, transparency and accountability in financial management.

While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari, the FRC CEO said: “At the FRC, our understanding of the change Mr. President is talking about is a ‘change of epic proportions’ it is a change of consciousness as well as a change of behaviour. The premise of this requires an understanding of the fact that the pain to be endured from the charge must be experienced as a lesser pain to that of continuing the present course.

“It requires us to dream of Nigeria differently. This is the journey we must undertake now in our consideration of this NCCG. It is not the hero’s journey but the collective journey of each of us, together! He stated. He however maintained that the council is interested in constructive comments from stakeholders in order to come up with a National Code that we can all be proud of.

The Chairman, Steering Committee of the draft National Code of Corporate, Mr. Victor Odiase said the code was in response to outcry by minority shareholders over non representation of their interest in decision making and board meetings.

“The NCCG sets out to address the persistent conflict of interest between Majority and Minority Shareholders with a view to ensuring that parties as well as their investments are protected,” he stated.
Odiase also clarified some misconceptions about the NCCG by some stakeholders who believe that the NCCG was solely an FRC affair aimed at fighting certain individuals and corporate bodies.

According to him, the Steering Committee to develop the code was inaugurated by the federal government in January, 2013 with the sole mandate to develop and come up with a unified corporate governance code that would replace the already existing persuasive codes of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), National Pensions Commission and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC).
Other regulatory bodies like CBN, SEC and CAC sent their representatives to the occasion and they all pledged their support for the development of the NCCG.