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COVID-19: IoD seeks regulatory mechanism against impacts on businesses

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By Naomi Uzor

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The Institute of Directors of Nigeria (IoD) has called for a regulatory mechanism that can help address the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the business environment.

Director General/Chief Executive Officer, IoD, Dele Alimi, in a statement, yesterday, said the Institute has noted the risks posed by COVD-19 to growth in global and the emerging markets economic as well as the Nigerian economy.

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He stated: “We believe that based on the ongoing efforts by the Federal and State governments and all well-meaning stakeholders, the Coronavirus could be contained much sooner. We also note that addressing systemic risks responsibly is a moral and economic imperative both for regulators and companies. It is therefore on this note that we wish to call on the government to put in place measures to consider and adopt virtual and or hybrid regulatory windows in order to ensure that companies fully comply with their legal obligations and duties at such a time as this.”

According to him, the rise in the number of registered cases of the Coronavirus infection and attendant restrictions by government in recent days is a worrying sign that all is far from being well. He called for increased efforts by government and all stakeholders to work together to stem the tide of the pandemic and impact on humans and on businesses.

“With increasing restrictions arising from the spread of COVID-19, workable suggestions on how companies can navigate the challenge is pertinent. The situation may present a need for some regulatory framework that will accommodate and provide for unconventional issues of the modern day business environment, such as health emergency situations that have inherent commercial risks and impacts on businesses and corporate governance obligations.

There is, therefore, a great need for the government and relevant agencies such as Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to consider reviewing and amending existing regulatory frameworks that are guiding corporate organisations to accommodate and provide for emerging issues arising from Covid-19 and related matters,” he stressed.

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