FRC Nigeria to unveil new code of corporate governance in Q1 2024

Nigerian Tribune

View to downtown Lagos from the bridge. Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

Executive Secretary /CEO of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), Rabiu Olowo has unveiled a four-point strategic agenda to transform and re-launch the council for the global audience.

The FRC chief who made this known at a stakeholder roundtable in Lagos on Wednesday, said the agenda is hinged on what he coiled ‘DOSE Viz: D–Digitisation, O-Operational Excellence, S–Stakeholders Engagement and E-Enforcement’.

“The purpose is to set high standards of corporate governance, reporting, auditing and holding to account those responsible for delivering them. The significance of this is that FRC is integral to the roadmap of providing confidence to investors as Nigeria embarks on a journey towards renewed hope where the strength of our businesses and government institutions is of utmost importance to our future success as a nation.”

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He revealed that FRC has witnessed evidence where numerous entities and government institutions are falling short of the high standards expected under the FRC Act 2011, thus, the onus rests on its shoulders to transform the FRC into a new, robust, independent, and high-performing regulator comparable globally.

He stressed that the bedrock of the transformation agenda of the Council going forward would be to ensure maximum compliance with the FRC Act 2011 (as amended), and other statutory instruments released by the Council.

“FRC intends to give full credibility to any financial statements coming out of Nigeria in a way that investors can rely on the information in the statements. We shall see a new FRC that will be firm and fair in carrying out her mandate; hold corporates and individuals accountable; restore confidence in corporate reports and governance in the Nigerian economy to enhance the renewed hope of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

He reiterated the council’s resolve to establish a corporate reporting academy in the next year in collaboration with all financial institutions in the country. More so, in other to curb incessant malfeasance, he added that President Tinubu would unveil the code of corporate governance for the public sector in the first quarter of 2024.

“As we begin to review codes of corporate governance for both sectors, we shall also engage in intensive capacity building of our personnel and work hand in glove with professional bodies and educational institutions to deliver on mandate, because we are committed to restoring the image of the council.”

On digitisation, he posited that its transformation agenda is hinged upon the use of technological tools to enhance our activities.

“FRC will leverage technology to streamline its operations and improve efficiency. This includes the use of technology in the filing and analysis of financial statements, corporate governance reports and other corporate filings, as well as the implementation of online reporting systems to facilitate timely and accurate submission of financial statements.

“Our focus will be to ensure efficient and effective delivery of flawless service to the stakeholders through digitalization, capacity building, advocacy and thought leadership. Our processes will be automated to ensure quick and timely responses.”

On operational excellence, he said FRC has planned to achieve its target by revitalising all the functional directorates to achieve maximum effect. Thus, going forward, FRC would aim to achieve the highest level of operational excellence comparable to what is obtainable in other jurisdictions around the world, and would achieve this by continuous Improvement: establish and operationalise new corporate governance for the public sector and not-for-profit sector.

“Learning and development of staff will be a priority as well as the establishment of all the Statutory Directorates Section 23 of the FRC Act 2011 (As amended) stipulated 7 directorates for the council. We’re pushing for Sustainability Reporting and full Implementation of Audit Regulations 2020.

“The council is engaging the relevant stakeholders for the establishment of the Directorate of Valuation Standards and the Directorate of Actuarial Standards.”

On stakeholder engagement, he affirmed that, in line with the Transformation Agenda of the FRC, the council will lead initiatives to improve its stakeholders’ engagements, partnerships, alliances and strategic collaborations with local stakeholders (governments, primary regulators, professional bodies and associations.

On enforcement and compliance: the purpose, he said is to” ensure that entities comply with financial reporting standards, corporate governance codes and other corporate requirements in Niger. This will be achieved through our Inspection Specialist Program (ISP) which aims to drive the effective monitoring and inspection of annual reports and financial statements of Public Interest Entities to ensure accuracy, transparency, and reliability. Through the ISP, we will critically scrutinize and analyze a substantial amount of the corporate reports in Nigeria to engender investor confidence in financial statements.

“Over the years, the council has through its inspections and monitoring activities observed a relative non-compliance with the FRC Act and applicable corporate reporting requirements. fact, it has been observed that a significant number of entities claiming not to be PIEs do not file their financial statements with the Council.

“Majority of government organisations do not prepare and file their financial statements at all or use inappropriate financial reporting framework. They claim to have adopted IFRS instead of IPSAS and vice versa. This unacceptable situation has to be corrected immediately during my tenure.

“There must be a timely submission of financial statements payment of annual dues by individual professionals, firms, and Public Interest Entities (PIEs) within 60 and 120 days respectively. The council will apply appropriate penalties for the failure of any individual, firm or PIE as laid down in the Act.

“Henceforth, this position will be firm in enforcing appropriate sanctions on PIEs who fail to comply with the FRC Act and other statutory instruments. There is a need is a focus on the environmental impact assessment of human activities.

“In cases of non-compliance or irregularities, the council takes enforcement actions such as issuing warnings, or penalties, suspension and/or deregistration of professionals as well as serving a notice for the withdrawal and restatement of erring entities’ financial statements”

He hinted on the Accounting Development Tool (ADT), which according to him, the c ouncil is collaborating with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the implementation of the Accounting Development Tool in Nigeria.

The objective of ADT is to assist policymakers and other stakeholders in identifying gaps and priority areas towards attaining international standards and best practices and help to assess and determine our country’s need for technical assistance to build an accounting and financial architecture that improves transparency & financial stability, whilst strengthening international competitiveness and economic development.

“However and in line with our transformation agenda, council has taken it as a priority to have the full complements of the Directorates in 2024 as stipulated in the DRC Act 2011.

“The council will be taking huge steps in 2024 on sustainability reporting due to the emerging issues and nature of the standards. Nigeria, through FRC, aims to be part of the global leaders in sustainability reporting.

“We have set a 5-year plan which will include: The issuance of a roadmap report for sustainability reporting in Nigeria before the end of the first quarter of 2024; and setting up a Directorate of Sustainability reporting standards as empowered by virtue of section 24 of the FRC Act 2011 (as amended)”

Meanwhile, stakeholders from SEC, FIRS, NGX, EFCC, Bureau of Public Enterprise, CBN, public affairs analysts and others frowned at what they called ‘inter-agency rivalry’ within the military and MDAs, which has caused more damage and impeded the attainment of the overall government objectives for good governance.

They urged the financial regulator to institutionalised every resolution reached at the summit and as well embark on regular and periodic engagement with regulators and other critical stakeholders.

“Institutionalisation of corporate governance in the public sector of the Nigerian economy is fundamental towards sound policies and economic growth” they asserted.

Zimbabwe inflation quickens two months after new price measure

The Zimbabwean

This is a low light image of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe looking East at Dusk. Image used for illustrative purpose. Getty Images

Consumer prices rose 21.6% in November from 17.8%, a month earlier, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency said Monday in an online briefing, without stating the reasons for the uptick. A 2 US cents per kilowatt hour increase in power tariffs last month likely contributed.

The southern African nation revised its inflation measure for the second time this year on Sept. 28. Its previous revision took place in February. Both led to a sharp drop in the inflation rate.

Monthly inflation also quickened to 4.5%, breaching the central bank’s 3% target for this year.

The new methodology combines price changes of goods and services in the greenback and Zimbabwean dollar, the statistics agency said.

Soon after the methodology change the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s monetary policy committee cut the benchmark interest rate to 130% from 150%, ceding its unenviable position of having the world’s highest interest rate to Argentina.

Ghana central bank holds main rate as inflation slows

Reuters News

A man holds Ghana’s cedi notes in Accra July 3, 2007. Luc Gnago, Reuters

Ghana’s central bank on Monday held its main interest rate at 30.0% after annual inflation slowed for the third month in a row in October.

The West African cocoa, gold and oil producer is in talks with bilateral and commercial creditors to restructure its debts amid its worst economic crisis in a generation.

Ghana’s inflation slowed to 35.2% on a year-on-year basis last month, from 38.1% in September and 40.1% in August. The Bank of Ghana targets inflation of 8% with a margin of error of 2 percentage points either side of that.

Kenya to begin privatisation of 11 companies

Reuters News

The Nairobi skyline is seen in the background as a zebra walks through the Nairobi National Park, near Nairobi, Kenya, December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Kenya will start its privatisation drive by offering stakes in 11 companies including the state oil pipeline, the finance ministry said on Monday.

The 11 are part of a bigger drive involving more than 35 companies that are slated for sale according to the president, partly to help the government raise extra revenue in the face of growing debt repayments.

Nigeria’s Q3 GDP up 2.54% y/y – stats office

Reuters News

General view shows densely-built houses in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria March 16, 2020. Temilade Adelaja, Reuters. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Nigeria’s economy grew 2.54% in the third quarter of 2023 compared with the same period a year ago, the statistics office said on Friday, the second output data to be released after President Bola Tinubu took office in May and initiated reforms.

EA’s family businesses face challenges, study says

The East African

FNB is calling on entrepreneurs and small business owners to enter its MasterUp SME development programme. Image Courtesy: Getty Images Image used for illustrative purpose.

East African family-run businesses have not prioritised research and innovation in a move to help them recover from the post-Covid-19 economic challenges.

The latest survey by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that only 12 percent of the sampled family-owned businesses in the region have put significant focus on, investment and resources into innovation or research.

In addition to lack of innovation and research, the survey shows that the on-going wave of business digitalisation that is sweeping across the region is yet to take root in family-owned businesses, with only 46 percent of them saying they have strong digital capabilities.

Read: Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda rank top for rapid digital growthFamily-owned businesses in the region have strong growth ambitions over the next two years, with 75 percent them saying they expect to see growth.“There is great optimism even in the face of significant challenges and disruption, which speaks to the resilience of these family businesses and their owners, stakeholders and communities,” the survey says.“The optimism of a post-Covid world has been sorely tested by geopolitical turmoil including the war in Ukraine and the recent outbreak of violence in Israel and Palestine.”According to the survey, family businesses in the region are rising to the economic challenges with 64 percent experiencing growth with only 13 percent seeing a sales reduction.

This is a significant departure from the 46 percent who reported experiencing growth and 31 percent sales reduction in 2021, largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, which covers Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia, was conducted between October 2022 and January 2023 when the world had finally emerged from the impact of Covid-19 with a renewed sense of hope for the future.

Read: EA economies’ growth stronger than peers amid global crisesWar in UkraineLast year, the regional economies experienced the effects of the invasion of Ukraine — with all the human and economic implications such as spiraling inflation, supply chain shocks and a looming energy crisis.

The key priorities facing East African family businesses over the next two years are expanding into new markets and increasing customer loyalty.

This year’s survey findings include over 2,000 responses from 82 territories, 95 who were from Eastern Africa.

The survey notes that while most businesses believe that it is essential to be trusted by customers, employees and family members, only 56 percent and 47 percent of the businesses believe that they are fully trusted by their customers and employees respectively.

According to the survey, 56 percent of the businesses said they are fully trusted by customers, 47 percent are fully trusted by employees while 77 percent are fully trusted by family members.

Read: Kenya small savers dump banks for mobile walletsIn Kenya, family businesses experienced solid financial performance in 2022 with 70 percent of the businesses achieving growth and only 18 percent reduction in sales.

This compares with 52 percent growth and 28 percent sales reduction in 2021.

While Kenyan family businesses leveraged on trust from family members and their loyal customers, they still have an ambition for growth with over 82 percent expecting to grow compared to the 77 percent from global counterparts.

The key priorities for Kenyan family businesses over the next two years are territory expansion and increasing customer loyalty, while their immediate focus is customers, shareholders and investors.

SEC reaffirms commitment to $1trn economy target: Nigeria

Nigerian Tribune

Photo Taken In Lagos, Nigeria. Getty Images

ALL hands seem to be on deck as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in its bid to promote a vibrant capital market in the country, reaffirmed commitment towards deepening the market to support the $1trillion economy target by the President Tinubu-led federal government.

President Bola Tinubu, recently at the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), had informed business community that Nigeria’s economy can grow to $1 trillion by 2026, adding that a $3 trillion Nigerian economy is possible in 10 years.

The Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, indeed affirmed that the target is realisable and achievable if the capital market is properly harnessed, while disclosing that the commission had set up a group within the capital market to look at things to be done to achieve the desired goal.

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At the third quarter post-Capital Market Committee, (CMC) press briefing on Friday in Lagos, Yuguda the commission will refocus its attention on ways to support the Federal Government to unlock the full potential of the capital market in addressing infrastructure deficit, for economic growth and development.

“One of the most glaring problems of the country is the sorry state of a lot of our infrastructure and really, the goal of the commission in 2024 is to refocus attention on how we can galvanise capital market money into financing infrastructure,” he said.

By ensuring funding of critical infrastructure in the country through the capital market, Yuguda said it would not only provide a conducive operating environment for businesses, but would also enhance the production capacity of Nigerians, thereby soaring the nation’s economic growth and development.

The commission, in 2024 is set to intensify efforts in investors education; as it believes that investors literacy and public awareness is critical to mobilise more companies and investors to take advantage of opportunities offered by the capital market.

Yuguda said the commission will embark on massive investor education in 2024 to educate and enlighten investors on the potential and technicalities of the capital market.

“When you have a market that is literate, it is better; you have people who really understand what they are seeking and they are really happy with those risks.

“When everybody strategically enters the market and is armed with good information, you really have the power of influence. The issue of investor interest is the issue of public awareness,” he added.

Giving details of the recently concluded CMC meeting, he said, the meeting mandated SEC to enhance public awareness of the capital market’s benefits, expressing optimism that the envisioned one trillion-dollar economy could be realised, with the help of collaborative efforts and productive actions in the capital market.

At the CMC meeting, stakeholders affirmed rededicated efforts towards further deepening of the market to serve as a veritable tool for infrastructure financing in the country, while fostering collaboration and embracing innovation to build a greater future.

To tackle backlog of unclaimed dividend, the commission announced the launch of a revamped portal on or before November 30, 2023.

At the CMC meeting, the E-Dividend Mandate Technical Committee presented an update on the collaborative project with ICMR and NIBSS to enhance the e-Dividend portal.

With the successful issuance of the sixth FGN Sukuk by the Debt Management Office (DMO), with a remarkable subscription level of 435 percent; the Non-Interest Technical Committee informed that plans have been finalised to engage with various stakeholders to explore the development of Shariah-compliant liquidity instruments for the commodities market, and creation of short-term Sukuk with the DMO.

Nigeria needs improved PPP on infrastructure to drive economy – Shettima

Nigerian Tribune

General view shows densely-built houses in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, Nigeria March 16, 2020. Temilade Adelaja, Reuters

Vice President Kashim Shettima has stated that Nigeria is in need of improved public-private infrastructure partnerships for economic growth and the overall development of the country.

Shettima also mentioned that President Bola Tinubu has vast experience in both brokering public-private partnerships and understanding how to address the deficit in the country’s infrastructure.

The Vice President made these remarks on Thursday during the public presentation of two books authored by Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN) in Abuja.

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“You only need to gaze into the realities of Lagos State before and after his progressive leadership as Executive Governor to realize his spectacular legacy, a skill set he has brought into play again to reposition Nigeria as a competitive global player,” the former Borno governor said.

According to the Vice President, the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda is built on the realization of improved infrastructure as a critical catalyst for the nation’s economic growth.

“I am here to acknowledge that such a grand vision is the reason we are exploring innovative funding mechanisms like Public-Private Partnerships, with avenues like the Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission (ICRC) as testimony to such ambition. The ongoing review of the ICRC (Establishment ETC) Act, 2005, is telling.

“Infrastructure deficit depends on our understanding of the complex interests of all parties involved in deals that do not disadvantage the nation. It’s crucial to ensure that we are not blinded by any legal requirements.

“It’s worth noting that one astute lawyer can bankrupt a country, but it also takes just one astute lawyer to save a nation. We have witnessed this, even in the recent case of Nigeria versus P&ID, which could have resulted in an unbelievable $11 billion arbitral award against us,” he said.

Speaking on the books, Shettima said, “These books aren’t well-timed solely due to their thematic interests. They are not being celebrated solely for their interpretation of paramount aspects of our nation’s journey, nor for a yearning for such interventions in our collective responsibility to serve the nation. These two books stand out due to the intellectual and professional pedigree of the author.”

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, while speaking, asked senior legal practitioners to emulate Ali and document their experiences in books to guide upcoming and future practitioners.

“Through this publication, Mr. Yusuf Ali has further deployed his rich legal skills and knowledge beyond public interest advocacy. He has moved to academic research, legal research, and jurisprudence and scholarship ultimately to deploy his deep knowledge of the law to attain justice, fairness, and economic development for the benefit of humanity,” the Attorney General said.

Nigeria inflation rises further in October, upping pressure on new head


Customers check out at the cash register in a mall in Abuja, Nigeria, September 15, 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde Acquire Licensing Rights

ABUJA, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Nigerian inflation rose for the tenth month in a row in October, increasing pressure on the new central bank governor to raise interest rates when the monetary policy committee meets for the first time since his appointment.

Consumer inflation rose to 27.33% year on year in October from 26.72% in September, its highest in about 18 years, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Olayemi Cardoso took over as governor of Nigeria’s central bank in September, after Godwin Emefiele was suspended earlier in the year.

Cardoso has pledged to pull the bank back from much-criticised fiscal interventions pursued by Emefiele that undermined the central bank’s ability to effectively manage inflation. Instead the central bank will take a “more limited advisory role” in support of the government’s economic growth agenda, Cardoso said.

Price rises for food and non-alcoholic beverages were the biggest driver of inflation in October in annual terms, the statistics bureau said.

Food inflation, which accounts for the bulk of Nigeria’s inflation basket, rose to 31.52% in October from 30.64% in September.

Inflation in Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation has been in double digits since 2016, eroding incomes and savings.

“We are reaching almost four months since the central bank’s last policy meeting in July, a meeting which underwhelmed,” said David Omojomolo, Africa economist at research firm Capital Economics.

“The central bank will need to act with aggressive hikes to maintain its credibility and bring down inflation,” he said.

At the July monetary policy meeting, the central bank opted for a smaller-than-expected 25 basis point hike, saying it preferred a moderate increase to anchor inflation expectations while continuing to support investment.

President Bola Tinubu, who has embarked on some of Nigeria’s boldest reforms in decades, has been under pressure from labour unions as some of those reforms have contributed to price pressures.

Nigeria consumer inflation rises to 27.33% y/y in October

Reuters News

The Victoria Island waterfront is seen from the Ikoyi neighbourhood in Lagos June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney
Reuters Images

Nigeria’s consumer inflation rose slightly to 27.33% in annual terms in October from 26.72% in September, its bureau of statistics said on Wednesday.

Inflation in Africa’s biggest economy has been in double digits since 2016, eroding incomes and savings, and prompting the central bank to repeatedly hike interest rates.

President Bola Tinubu has been under pressure from labour unions due to the impact of reforms, including ending a costly decades-old petrol subsidy and restrictions on foreign exchange trading, that have increased price pressures.