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‘Collaborations key to enhanced corporate governance practices’

By Joseph Onyekwere
29 March 2022   |   4:13 am
Collaboration between the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD) has seen the birthing of the Corporate Governance Triangle, an initiative designed to promote good corporate...

Ayuli Jemide

NBA-SBL, NGX, IoD Nigeria launch Corporate Governance Triangle
Collaboration between the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD) has seen the birthing of the Corporate Governance Triangle, an initiative designed to promote good corporate governance in Nigeria for members of the business law community, directors and managers of businesses, shareholders and other corporate stakeholders.

The Corporate Governance Triangle was launched on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 in Lagos, with stakeholders emphasising the place of collaboration in enhancing corporate governance practices in Nigeria.

The event witnessed the signing of the Corporate Governance Triangle MOU by the NGX, IoD Nigeria and NBA-SBL, led by its Corporate Governance and Compliance Committee, as well as the unveiling of the Corporate Governance Triangle by key officials of the collaborating entities present.

Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, CEO/Executive Secretary, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), in a keynote speech said the NBA-SBL, NGX and IoD Nigeria kind of partnership has the capacity to strengthen the implementation of good corporate governance practices in Nigeria, enhance the placement of Nigerian entities in the international sphere/market relating to attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), and strengthen collaborations among regulatory bodies, which have oversight roles on corporate governance.

“Collaborations like this are greatly encouraged to ensure that seemingly complex corporate governance issues are addressed and feedback obtained and shared with relevant regulatory authorities and stakeholders for business-friendly policy reforms,” Ahmed said in the speech titled “Corporate Governance in Nigeria: Road Map for the Future.”

He said the FRCN welcomes the creation of the Corporate Governance Triangle, which he described as a step in the right direction towards ensuring that Nigeria rises to become one of the most economically transformed nations due to healthy corporate governance best practices.

The professions working together, such as the Corporate Governance Triangle, Ahmed said, can help deliver a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future.

He, therefore, enjoined other professionals to work together to fight for the entrenchment of sound corporate governance in both the private and public sectors.

Ayuli Jemide, NBA-SBL chairman, said the partnership with NGX and IoD Nigeria was in line with the NBA-SBL’s culture for synergy with institutions that share with it common values and aspirations for the betterment of the business environment.

It is this culture, he said, that had birthed productive platforms like NASSBER (The National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable), a partnership between the National Assembly, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the NBA-SBL, among others.

Jemide said the uniqueness of the Corporate Governance Triangle stems from the fact that, firstly, the participating institutions (NGX, IoD and NBA-SBL) are all private sector led and, secondly, each institution in the collaboration comes with assets that complete the triangle.

“This comes home clearer when we realise that NGX seats on one angle of the triangle as an umbrella for shareholders of the major companies in Nigeria. The triangle therefore has the owners of these companies as major stakeholders.

Chairman of the NBA-SBL, Olumide Akpata

“The IoD is seated at the second angle of the triangle as a warehouse for directors who play a key role of piloting the companies and representing the interest of the shareholders. The third edge of the triangle is NBA-SBL who represents the community of business lawyers in Nigeria – we business lawyers are the gatekeepers who advise shareholders and directors on a routine basis on matters pertaining to corporate governance,” he said.

Jemide thanked the NGX and IoD for accepting to partner with NBA-SBL and hoped that on the back of the launch of the Corporate Governance Triangle, all corporate stakeholders would be challenged to become leaders of thought in corporate governance and the respective institutions would become bastions of corporate governance.

He announced that the NBA-SBL would launch its Corporate Governance Charter in June 2022, expressing the desire that the Corporate Governance Triangle would keep moving until it becomes a movement.

Temi Popoola, the CEO of Nigerian Exchange Limited, said NGX is delighted to collaborate with IoD Nigeria and the NBA-SBL on the establishment of the Corporate Governance Triangle.

Represented by Jude Chiemeka, Divisional Head, Capital Markets at NGX, Popoola described corporate governance as a key driver of corporate accountability and business prosperity.

“For us within the financial services industry, we take the perspective of corporate governance a step further by anchoring corporate governance on trust. Trust is the fundamental value that keeps the global financial system running and we believe that sound corporate governance is the foundation that creates transparency and establishes trust. These foundational principles drive our aspiration to play a leading role in promoting corporate governance in Nigerian capital market,” Popoola said.

“As a securities exchange, we recognise our unique role in fostering the growth of long-term sustainable capital by positively influencing our key stakeholders to adopt sustainable business practices, including best practice corporate governance,” he said.

He highlighted the roles NGX has played in promoting various corporate governance initiatives in the Nigerian market over the years, including the Incorporation of Corporate Governance Principles in NGX Listing and Post-Listing Requirements; Corporate Governance Rating System; NGX CG Index, and the NGX X-Academy.

He said the NGX looks forward to working closely with the NBA-SBL and IoD Nigeria to formulate and implement initiatives that will further raise the bar on corporate governance standards and practice in Nigeria.

Other speakers at the event, including Dr. Ije Jidenma, President of IoD Nigeria, Lamido Yuguda, DG, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who was represented by Bukky Rufai, Divisional Head of Operations, SEC Lagos Zonal Office, Dele Alimi, DG/CEO, IoD Nigeria, Ayotola Jagun, Chair, NBA-SBL Corporate Governance and Compliance Committee, Tinuade Awe, CEO NGX Regulation Ltd, and George Etomi, Partner, George Etomi & Partners, lauded the Corporate Governance Triangle as capable of advancing the cause of corporate governance and, ultimately, driving corporate accountability and business prosperity in Nigeria.