‘There is no crisis in FRC’
CONTRARY to news making round on the alleged crisis situation at the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), its Chairman, Ibrahim on Tuesday denied such insinuations, saying no such crisis is bedeviling the council.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Ibrahim said the media reports in some online and conventional publications purporting divisions within the Board of the financial regulatory body is news to members of the Board and management.
She however disclosed that there was approval by the Board for FRC salary structure for members of staff, which was paid with arrears.
Besides, she emphasized the need to employ professionals considering the state of the economy and adding that, that is the task at hand in FRC for which the executive secretary, Jim Obazee, sought and got approval of Salary and Wages Commission.
She also disclosed that some members of staff have been penciled for promotion but due process would have to be followed.
On the stoppage of actions on the Code of Corporate Governance for the country, she said the FRC had held summits in 2013 and 2014 and a Steering Committee was set up to develop the code and the draft code was released for comments and contributions from stakeholders in April this year.
“Public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, May 19. Work was however abruptly stopped as a result of an exparte injunction obtained by a group restraining the FRC from going on with the public hearing”, Ibrahim said.
She said the public hearing would have provided the aggrieved parties the opportunities to express their grievances.
Defending some of the provisions of the code, she said the provision on rotation of auditors was to enhance fair distribution of auditing jobs, stating that there are many professionals who would be denied employment if the same auditors were retained perpetually by companies.
She, however, disclosed that the FRC would follow the due process by complying with the court decisions while its lawyers would explore necessary legal avenues to ensure the process of developing a code of corporate governance for the country in line with international standards.
Ibrahim described delay in the process as a setback for the economy as other countries such as Mauritius, which already have code of corporate governance in place would be at advantage in attracting investments.
Responding to speculation on the establishment of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Academy by the FRC, she said work on opening the Institute was being delayed because of difficulty in getting land in the Federal Capital and procurement of letters of No Objection from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). She however debunked insinuations that the funds raised for the establishment of the Academy is being tampered with, saying the fund are intact.
She said the ICAN and ANAN should not see the establishment of the IFRS Academy as competitor, rather a complement as there is a need to ensure professionals are given adequate training in IFRS beyond what is available in universities and other training institutions in the country.