By Nkiruka Nnorom
The Registrar of Institute of Capital Market Registrar, Dr. Walker Ogogo, has called for the introduction of corporate governance audit for public companies, including Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
Speaking at the annual SEC journalists’ Academy in Abuja, Ogogo said that with adoption of tenets and principles of good corporate governance by the companies and MDAs, the issues of corruption will gradually become a forgotten issue.
He also called on shareholders of quoted companies to take special interest in entrenchment of good corporate governance in their various companies, adding that they should focus more on long term growth of their companies rather than short term gains.
He said that shareholders must have firm control of their companies so that they can quickly step in once something is going wrong at the management level.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director/Secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Edosa Aigbekaen , said that shareholders associations are self serving in their engagement with the management of their various companies, there reducing the vigour with which they pursue corporate governance enthronement by the managers of their companies.
According to him, focusing on companies’ growth increases profitability and long term gains. The SEC scribe noted that shareholders’ association should be more responsive in ensuring accountability and effective management of the company, adding that they should take more interest in sustainable returns and long term performance.
“Shareholders should pay more attention to monitoring how their companies are managed. While some of the institutional investors are known to demand good corporate governance practices from the managers of their companies, a lot more is expected of the majority of the small holders who are known to be very passive.
“While the framework in Nigeria is regulatory-driven, it is important for shareholders in Nigeria to have meaningful engagement with companies and hold the management to account for its performance,” he said.
Speaking on the corporate governance framework in Nigeria, he said a good governance framework can play an important role in helping the Board of Directors gain a better understanding of their oversight role. “Such a framework should have attributes that contribute to effective governance and tools for addressing governance risk. A framework also provides a more cogent construct for evaluating how management’s responsibilities fit with Board’s oversight responsibilities”
He explained that the framework for corporate governance differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, saying that the focus of all frameworks is to ensure the integrity and stability of the financial system.
On risk management and audit, he said, “the board is given the responsibility to oversee the establishment of a management framework that defines the company’s risk policy, risk appetite and risk limits. The board is also responsible for the process of risk management and should form its opinion on the effectiveness of the process. Management must be accountable, while shareholders must be given fair and equal opportunity to express their views at general meetings and management of the company.”