By Rukayat Moisemhe
Mrs Lilian Madueke, Chief Operating Officer, Kaizen Academy (Nigeria) Ltd., says the role of company secretaries in the corporate governance framework is becoming increasingly important in driving compliance across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Madueke made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
NAN reports that Kaizen Academy is a governance and strategy focused consulting firm that offers services capable of revolutionising the operational and governance structures of organisations.
The chief executive officer said that the role of company secretaries were responsible for ensuring compliance, facilitating communication, and coordinating various aspects within the organisation.
According to her, their influence in terms of regulatory adherence and the smooth functioning of enterprises cannot be overstated.
Describing company secretaries as linchpins, Madueke highlighted their responsibility in connecting the board of directors, executive management, shareholders, and regulatory authorities.
Madueke stressed that as the corporate landscape continually evolved, the expertise of a proficient and well-versed company secretary remained essential.
She explained that such expertise ensured that enterprises operated with transparency, accountability, and a steadfast commitment to principled business conduct.
“Their presence is indispensable in ensuring the enterprise conducts its activities in accordance with the legal framework and upholds principles of ethical conduct.
“Company secretaries drive regulatory compliance, ensure transparency and accountability, effective board administration, improve shareholders relations, among other roles.
“They are tasked with safeguarding a company’s adherence to best practices in corporate governance, ensuring alignment of board decisions with the company’s mission and values.
“Company secretaries proactively monitor shifts in the legal and commercial landscape and offer guidance to the board and executive management on strategies to mitigate potential risks.
“Their adeptness in maneuvering the intricate confluence of legal requisites, stakeholder expectations, and business imperatives is pivotal for the triumph and longevity of the corporation,” she said.
Mrs Favour Udommesien, Managing Director, Kaizen Academy, underscored the growing criticality of company secretaries in board effectiveness and efficiency.
She said that their responsibilities extended beyond administrative tasks and encompassed facilitating good governance, compliance and strategic support.
According to Udommesien, the role of company secretaries has evolved into being the backbone of the board, directly impacting its efficiency.
She said that the changing dynamics of board mandates and legal commitments have elevated their significance to unprecedented heights.
“Far from the days when the company secretary was considered as a scribe and one to be seen and not heard, these days, their role is becoming more crucial and a massive determinant of a board’s effectiveness and efficiency.
“In contemporary times, an efficient company secretary aids the board’s effectiveness in governance expertise, processes and procedures, board orientation and training, risk management, and corporate compliance.
“Their roles also encompass stakeholders’ engagement, succession planning, information management, conflict of interests, board evaluations, ethical oversight, strategic support, and crisis management.
“In a rapidly evolving corporate landscape, the role of company secretaries in Nigeria has unquestionably become indispensable.
“They also contribute significantly to the overall health and compliance of organisations across various sectors.
“By adeptly embracing these responsibilities, the company secretary wields the power to propel the board’s efficacy, seamlessly harmonising the company’s governance, adherence to regulations, and strategic pursuits,” she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ayodeji Alabi/Olawunmi Ashafa