Expert advocates corporate governance code for public sector

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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, Chairman, Board of Directors, Omnibus Business Solutions Ltd., has emphasised the need for corporate governance code to address governance gaps in the public sector.

Osunkeye gave the advice at the Investiture Ceremony of Alhaji Tijjani Borodo as 18th president of the Chartered Institute of Directors (CIoD) on Thursday in Lagos.

According to him, a Nigerian code of governance is urgently needed in the public sector to regulate the functions and activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“Public establishments must be subjected to the same regulations as private corporations.

“I request a code of corporate governance for public sector as a bedrock to support the reform agenda of the current administration.

“The incoming CIoD president should as part of his priorities ensure the Nigerian public sector code of corporate governance is achieved and enforced during his tenure,” he said.

Mr Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, stated that corporate governance and leadership development remained two critical areas required for every organisation to maintain value-addition and relevance in its operations.

He said the institute stood out as the premier corporate governance and leadership development body due to the huge impact it had had on the leadership of many organisations in Nigeria.

He noted that over the last 40 years, the CIoD had organised about 1,100 onshore and offshore courses, training over 19,000 directors in the process.

Onyema observed that these directors had contributed significantly to building successful organisations rooted in strong corporate governance and ethical practices.

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He, however, noted that in recent times, boardrooms were evolving due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic disrupted “normal” working practices.

This, he said, ultimately adversely affected board composition and operations such that the expectations of boards and individual directors were now expanded beyond the traditional roles to accommodate new trends and current realities.

“The new status of the institute though with some challenges shows great opportunities in areas of transparency, enhanced board effectiveness practices and increased focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues.

“The newly elected president has spoken of his strategic agenda to continue to promote excellence in corporate governance and advocate for policies and practices that foster growth and innovation.

“I wish the CIoD Nigeria great success in executing its vision and achieving major milestones during the two years of this presidency,” he said.

In his acceptance speech, Borodo said his tenure would be driven by the broad strategic vision and aspirations of CIoD Nigeria as approved and currently being implemented by the Institute.

Borodo, however, stated that there would be new initiatives to drive the full actualisation of the strategic plan of the Institute.

He said his tenure would focus on the development of the roadmap for implementation of the chartership of CIoD Nigeria.

He said his strategic agenda was to continue promoting corporate governance excellence and advocate policies and practices that fostered growth and innovation, built on his three-point agenda, tagged 3Rs, ‘Review, Reform and Reinvigoration.’

“Over the next two years, we would also continue to work with our existing partners, create a wider platform to accommodate new ones and ensure that our corporate governance advocacy achieves a higher level of effectiveness.

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“I hereby solemnly pledge, by the help of Almighty Allah, to stand on the shoulders of our past leaders to position for greatness and align with the vision of our great Institute.

“I, therefore, appeal to you all to join me in this journey of discovery for our Institute and let us chart this new course together in our drive for excellence and perfection,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Salif Atojoko

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