Corporate Governance Code Will Create Value, Growth, Says NCC Boss

0

Emma Okonji

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has reiterated the need for telecoms organisations to adhere to good corporate governance, which he said would add real value to the organisation’s operations and enhance growth.

Danbatta, who gave the advice at the just concluded zonal sensitisation workshop on the code of corporate governance for telecoms industry, in Kano, said the adherence to good corporate governance code, would create the real value proposition that will lead to sustainable growth and stability in the telecom ecosystem.

Citing the World Bank Report of 2017, which disclosed that Nigeria moved 24 points up in the international ladder on that body’s index on ease of doing business, Danbatta said such movement could be attributed to the deliberate efforts of the federal government initiative in that regard under the government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) geared towards creating transparent business investment environment, which will be attractive to potential investors.

According to him, “These have in less than two years yielded positive fruits. These positive trends have equally resulted in more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the period. The combined focused policy strategies of the federal government have not only enabled the country to exit recession but also recorded modest confidence in building positive GDP growth rate of 1.4 per cent in Q3 of 2017 according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the quarter ended September, 2017.”

Danbatta was optimistic that further ease in doing business in the sector, which adoption of the principles of the code will usher, would lead to improvement in the sector growth trajectory and overall contribution to the gross domestic product(GDP).

“The foregoing speaks to the central and pivotal role of our sector to the overall attainment of our national developmental objectives, hence the need for the sector to lead in integrity, transparency, accountability and ethically, which are the values espoused and promoted by the principles of the code,” Danbatta said.
He assured the people of Nigerians that NCC would continue to show commitment to deliver regulatory excellence and facilitate operational efficiency, geared towards making the sector attractive to drive the level of investment and capital inflow needed.

“Current evaluation report of the state of the industry suggests that whilst not understating the impact of other external and fiscal issues confronting the sector, that most challenges negatively affecting the health of operators in the sector today are attributable to poor governance issues,” Danbatta said.

He also assured stakeholders of the commission’s determination to provide needed regulatory interventions to ensure that the sector plays effectively, the enabling role it is mandated to create by the Act, the NCA 2003.
He said NCC is currently rejigging its regulatory oversights in the areas of ensuring that consumers get cost effective value for money spent on telecommunication services; and that service delivery by providers are qualitative and efficient.

According to Danbatta, “The regulator, through the corporate governance code seeks strategic collaboration and partnership, as a vehicle for building synergy and trust to boost investor confidence through accountability and disclosure policies. Optimal compliance level could ultimately lead to sector players-self-regulation in due course.”

The Code of Corporate Governance for the telecommunications Industry was developed in 2014, was driven on voluntary compliance basis for two years up to June, 2016, before NCC made or mandatory.

Since the launch of the mandatory Code of Governance in Lagos, NCC has been sensitising Nigerians on the need to adopt the code. Danbatta advised the people of Kano on the mandatory adoption and compliance of the code, as no serious corporate entity can claim non-adherence to international best practices or non-adherence to ethical practices.