Corporate Governance Code Will Attract Investments, NCC Insists

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Emma Okonji

Few months after it introduced the mandatory Corporate Governance Code in the telecoms industry, in line with international best practices and principles, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is building up sensitisation

and awareness campaign around the code, insisting it must be adopted among telecoms operating companies.

The reason for the compulsory adoption was based on the ability of the Corporate Governance Code to attract and retain investment and capital into the telecoms sector.

NCC had in 2014, introduced the code and made its adoption voluntary, but decided to make it a mandatory baseline expected to reflect the international flavors of the country’s telecoms industry, after a two year period of grace.

Speaking at the South-east zonal sensitisation workshop on the Code of Corporate Governance for the telecoms industry in Enugu recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said it became imperative to standardise to international best practices by emphasising and enthroning ethics, integrity, accountability and responsiveness in disclosure requirement, which are the values encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the telecommunications industry.

According to Danbatta, NCC developed a programme for further stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop anchored on zonal basis to further enlighten and gain more robust stakeholders’ buy-in to ensure attainment of the code stated objectives.

The code will certainly renew investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy, Danbatta insisted.
Essentially, the code prescribes minimum threshold of global best practices covering processes, procedures and general corporate behaviour for telecommunications industry players, and Enugu is the second city where NCC had taken the sensitisation and awareness of the code to, after Lagos.

“Given the critical relevance of the sector to the health of Nigeria economy increasingly becoming the very backbone on which the entire economy runs, and in the light of the volume of nature, volume of investment and capital needed to robustly respond to the technological disruption which ICT is presently bringing to the legacy ways of doing things, it becomes imperative that the sector should operate on the same standards to be attractive to local and foreign investors.

“The code is intended to reassure existing and would-be investors that investment is safeguarded by high ethical regime of performance standards,” Danbatta said.
Citing the unfolding challenges of Etisalat now renamed 9mobile as a good example of that relevance, Danbatta said the regulator has a duty to protect all parties in the telecoms industry, through the enforcement of the mandatory adoption of the code.

To sustain business confidence and faith in the service providers to provide seamless services to their customers, it is expedient that telecoms sector operators comply with this Code of Corporate Governance, Danbatta insisted, adding that whereas the code prescribes sanctions for non-compliance, it also contains reward system for consistent compliance indicating that enforcement and sanctions are not the reasons for promulgating the code.