Wednesday, 31st May 2023

FRC worried about disputed property, delayed development

By Chijioke Nelson
23 December 2019   |   3:07 am
The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the disputed landed property at Guzape, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has called on the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the disputed landed property at Guzape, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to enable it to develop an office space.

The Executive Secretary of FRC, Daniel Asapokhai, who made the appeal during the council’s visit to the FCT minister, noted that the body had not been able to carry out any meaningful development on the property due to the activities of squatters.

He said unlike other Federal Government agencies, the council operates primarily from Lagos.

“So, I am sure a lot of you that have been in Abuja for a while are familiar with the Corporate Affairs Commission, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, and other agencies within our ministry.

“But when you mentioned Financial Reporting Council, perhaps no one has heard much about it, because you can’t pinpoint where it operates from and that is because we have no office or headquarters in Abuja,” he explained.

He said his agency has been following up since 2015 because there was approval for itto get a landed property in Abuja to enable it to build its headquarters.

Besides, at that time, the government also approved the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), while the public sector would use the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).

“We also launched a fund that was meant to establish an IFRS academy meant for the training of people in both the public and private sectors on financial standard,” he said.

In pursuit of these, he said through FCT, the agency was granted a landed property in Guzape, about 10,000sq metres.

Unfortunately, since that 2015 that FRC was granted a certificate of occupancy, it has not been able to embark on any development as a result of the square metres that have been on the property.

He stressed that the council is a regulatory agency of the government and supervised by the Minister of Trade and Investment, reiterating that the role is to “promote trade and investment in Nigeria,” hence the need for a place.

“It is true that we are charged with both functions of regulating corporate governance and financial reporting to create conducive environment for investment because if we have well-governed companies and the report is fully and properly reported to investors in a proper environment where people want to do business, that would create respect.

“When I assumed office in 2017, we tried to approach the issues then and engaged with the people to see how we can resolve it. So, it’s a matter we have been working on for a while and now it’s best that we bring that to your attention to see how you can assist us.

“Two years ago, we had a budgetary allocation to do some work, but we could not utilised that. If we get money and we cannot utilise it, that is a problem,” he said.

But the FCT minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, promised to look into the matter and bring the dispute to a quick end.

“Based on your presentation and the letter you presented that I have glanced, I understand what the issues are. We will try our very best to support you to see how this matter will be brought to a conclusion.

“I have personally followed the activities of FRC and I think the reason for establishing the council is very important, particularly at the stage we are now as a developing country,” he said.