***Suspension of FRCN’s corporate governance code won’t affect investments – NSE
By Sam Eyoboka, Peter Egwuatu, Nkiruka Nnorom & Olayinka Latona
LAGOS — THE Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, yesterday, said the sacked Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, Mr. Jim Obazee, had vowed to remove the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
This revelation was made by Head of the church’s Media and Public Relations, Pastor Segun Adegbiji, who also confirmed that the embattled Obazee was a zonal pastor with RCCG and, at a time, refused to honour Pastor Adeboye’s summons over alleged infractions.
According to Adegbiji, when the General Overseer noticed some infractions and sent for the then zonal pastor, he (Obazee) immediately replied that he was in his office and if Pastor Adeboye really wanted to see him, he knew where to reach him.
Obazee had allegedly refused to suspend the implementation of the FRCN regulation that requires heads of all registered churches, mosques and other non-profit organisations to serve a maximum of 20 years in office and thereafter hand over to someone from outside their families.
Obazee reportedly insisted that only an official gazette would stop him.
Pastor Adegbiji further said that the recent changes announced by Pastor Adeboye, last week, which caused a stir in the polity, were informed by the provisions of the FRCN Act, explaining that the General Overseer does nothing without consulting God.
According to him, “God may have decided to carry out the reforms for a purpose though such appointments were not new to a growing church like RCCG which has branches in 192 nations of the world.
“The newly appointed country overseer, Pastor Joseph Obayemi may remain the overseer in charge of Nigeria operating from his current regional headquarters in Somolu in Lagos.
“The national headquarters of the church remains in Ebute Metta, Lagos, while the global headquarters is at the Redemption Camp, but the new country overseer, Pastor Obayemi may not immediately move to the Ebute Metta headquarters because it will be administratively inconvenient for him to operate from the headquarters of another region.”
He corrected the impression that the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye had resigned and appointed a successor, saying: “The General Overseer has not stepped down. He is still the General Overseer of the church and the announcement has not diminished his schedule across the globe.”
He also corrected the impression that the new national overseer was a Special Assistant to the General Overseer, adding that Pastor Obayemi, who will now oversee RCCG’s 28 regions in Nigeria, was one of the seven senior pastors promoted Assistant General Overseers and members of the Governing Council, during the 2016 convention of the church last August.
Pastor Obayemi was a deputy in charge of Finance and a member of governing council in RCCG, before his appointment as the new Country/national Overseer of the church.
RCCG, with 14 parishes before Pastor Adeboye’s entrance, has grown to become one of Nigeria’s biggest with branches in 192 countries.
According to the PRO, the church may not have so designated them but most pastors overseas are actually regarded as country overseers, who act as liaison between the church and their host countries.
With the sack of Obazee and the dissolution of the FRCN Board, President Muhammadu Buhari may have temporarily saved the jobs of many prominent Pentecostal church leaders who have since passed the 20-year threshold.
Among them are Pastor William Kumuyi, who has spent 43 years as the General Suerintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry; Bishop Mike Okonkwo of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (35 years); Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel’s Bishop David Oyedepo (35 yeas;) Dr. Daniel Olukoya of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (22); Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of Word of Life Bible Church (29 years); Rev. Chris Okotie of the Household of God (29 years); Kingsway International Christian Centre’s Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo (24 years);.
Others are Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Believers’ LoveWord International, alias Christ Embassy (26 years); Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre (21 years); Pastor Tunde Bakare of Latter Rain Assembly (27 years); House on the Rock’s Pastor Paul Adefarasin (22 years) among others.
Suspension of FRCN’s CCG won’t affect investments – NSE
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, yesterday, expressed confidence of market rebound, saying that the suspension of the FRCN corporate governance code will not affect foreign investment inflow into the country.
It also kicked against the proposed creation of multiple stock exchanges by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, saying that the existing stock exchange does not have enough liquidity as of today.
2017 market outlook
NSE Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema, who stated these during the review of the market performance in 2016 and outlook for 2017, said: “The suspension of the FRCN’s corporate governance code will not affect foreign investment inflow into the market and the country in general but will rather give them more confidence to invest in the market. There is more work to be done on the code to be able to address the teething problems.”
Creating more stock exchanges
The SEC recently disclosed plan to further fragment the stock exchange to cater for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in the country that are interested in listing but are encumbered by the stringent listing requirements as part of efforts to drive equity listing in the stock market.
According to the Director General, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, the process when completed would lessen the strident listing rules that have been hindering such companies from listing in the stock market. He explained that under the new arrangement, the stock market would be classified under tier one, tier two and tier three markets, thereby allowing companies that want to set up small exchanges do so. He stated that the move would allow more SMEs to be listed in any of the exchanges that would be set up other than the NSE.
However, while briefing the market, Onyema said the NSE does not really believe that the market should be fragmented at this point because “for a developing market such as ours, we do not want to fragment the market because we do not even have enough liquidity in one market.”
On capital market outlook for 2017, he said: “Nigeria is expected to recover from its recession in 2017 with a modest GDP growth forecast of 0.6 per cent driven by vigour of fiscal policy implementation, with a keen focus on articulation of desired goals; lower rates of disruptions to oil infrastructure from resolution of the Niger Delta conflict, thereby increasing Foreign Exchange, FX, inflows.
“Crude oil prices are expected to remain above the federal government’s benchmark of $42.5/barrel; positive impact of the war against corruption manifested in ease of doing business improvement; and policies aimed at boosting economic productivity such as improved budgetary allocation to capital expenditures, exit from JV Cash Call arrangements with IOCs by the FGN, which is expected to save the country $2 billion annually.
“We intend to strengthen efforts with policy makers to drive policies that will free up the system and promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”
We believe that incentive schemes for sectors of the economy that can support a pivot to export-led economy will be beneficial, and systematic removal of impediments to doing business and therefore reduction of leakages will attract private sector investments… “We anticipate that secondary market activity will be challenged initially as the impact of various policy measures work their way through the system. However, we expect to see a revival of supplementary listings, return of the new issuance market, and potentially one Initial Public Offer, IPO, since the equity market is a forward indicator of the economy, he added.”