By Bennett Oghifo
A former official of the Supreme Court of South Africa, Prof. Mervyn King has advised Nigerian government officials to adopt Responsible Investment Principles to enhance the nation’s socio-economic development.
King, who was guest lecturer at the 2017 Annual Conference on Corporate Governance in Lagos, recently, said responsible investment principles takes into cognisance the impact of decisions made on the society at large and how sustainable these decisions would be.
A government official is a representative shareholder who represents the citizens of Nigeria. Appointments should be made to people who have the right skills, competency, to adhere to the effective decisions made in order to better the economy, he said.
The Annual Conference on Corporate Governance hosted by Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria was tagged “Institutionalising Good Corporate Governance as a Tool for National Economic Development.”
According to King, “Corporate Governance cannot be legislated, because you cannot legislate for honesty or competency.”
King said Integrity, Competency, Responsibility, Accountability, Fairness and Transparency, ICRAFT, which are stated in his book, King IV Basics, were essential to national economic development.
He stated that radical transparency with social media would help keep government officials on their toes as regards their responsibility and accountability to the citizens.
He stated that Corporate Governance is about quality and not quantity or a checklist of ticking boxes, adding that the four outcomes of Corporate Governance as a Tool for National Economic Development as, Ethical culture and effective leadership; Performance and value creation in a sustainable manner; Adequate and effective controls; Trust, good reputation and legitimacy.
The six essential capital for Economic Development, he said include, financial, manufactured, human, intellectual, natural and social.
Sustainable development is understood as “Conducting operations in a manner that meets the existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” is a primary ethical and economic imperative, he said.
King stated that effective Corporate Governance mechanisms promote the development of strong financial systems which is essential for National Economic Development in the economy.
The conference which was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Pascal Dozie, CON, attracted Chairmen and Directors of Boards of several companies, captains of industries, Company Secretaries, Members of the Diplomatic corps, regulators, as well as other stakeholders.
Also, the latest publications of the Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria was unveiled and presented to the public.