The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said President Bola Tinubu will unveil a Code of Corporate Governance for all public institutions in the first quarter of 2024.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Dr Rabiu Olowo, disclosed this in Lagos during a media parley on Wednesday.
According to him, the Code will mandate government institutions including agencies that are also regulators to comply with the same financial reporting standard as private companies.
In addition to that, Olowo said a separate code is also being developed for Not-for-Profit organizations. He said the Public Sector Governance Code, which is very close to completion forms a key part of his agenda in FRC and is in alignment with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration.
Why attention is shifting to the public sector
The Executive Secretary said attention is being shifted to public sector institutions because many of them have been operating below the standards set by the FRC Act for years.
“We have witnessed concerning evidence that numerous entities and government institutions are falling short of the high standards expected under the FRC Act 2011.
Our task therefore is to transform the FRC into a new, robust, independent, and high-performing regulator comparable globally.
The bedrock of the transformation agenda of the Council going forward is to ensure maximum compliance with the FRC Act 2011 (as amended), and other statutory instruments released by the Council,” he said.
Olowo added that the public sector remains the catalyst of economic growth in Nigeria and across emerging markets.
Hence, the institutionalization of corporate governance in the public sector of the Nigerian economy is fundamental for sound policies and economic growth.
He said the code of corporate governance for public institutions is an important element of bringing back the long-lost reputation of our country and ensuring that businesses that operate within this particular geography are respected. Financial reports coming out of this country are credible.
“Some of these institutions are regulators in their own right. Some of them are policymakers, we need to also ensure that we hold them to the same level of standards and expectations as we do to the private sector.
We plan to unveil the code in the first quarter of the year 2024 and President Bola Tinubu will do us the honour of unveiling it to the public,” he added.
Not-for-profits at risk
The FRC boss said the Council has also seen the need for proper guidance to Not-For-Profit Organisations because many of them are at higher risks compared with for-profit organizations. He said the code, which is at an advanced stage is also being targeted to be unveiled within the first quarter of 2024.
“If you do a risk analysis of not-for-profit entities in any country, you will find that a lot of them are at risk more than the for-profit organizations.
We must issue codes on how these institutions are governed, and how they are led. It is our responsibility to do that and we will not shy away from that responsibility,” he said.
Transforming the FRC
While noting that the FRC is also being transformed in line with the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda, Dr Olowo said the transformation is hinged on four key areas with the acronym “DOSE”.
According to him, D, stands for Digitization, O, for Operational Excellence, S for Stakeholder Engagement, and E for Enforcement.
He said implementing these would ensure best practices in financial reporting, auditing, and corporate governance in Nigeria.
On digitization, he said the FRC would 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 8 reporting systems to facilitate the timely and accurate submission of financial statements.
Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.