The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) launched the foremost Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) in Nigeria today, November 03, 2014.
The Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) is designed to rate companies listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange based on their corporate governance and anti-corruption culture, thereby improving the overall perception of and trust in Nigeria’s capital markets and business practices.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of the NSE, Mr Oscar N. Onyema, OON, states that “with this Corporate Governance Rating System, it is anticipated that there would be an improvement in the overall perception of capital markets and business practices. It is expected that companies will enjoy tangible business advantages from risk-oriented and/or ethically sensitive business partners and investors. In addition, competitors would be challenged to establish the same level of good governance by setting standards of excellence. Companies would not only set themselves apart from their peers, but also contribute to improving the climate for doing business in Nigeria”.
In his speech, the Executive Director of CBi, Mr. Soji Apampa shared the design & pilot phase of the Corporate Governance Rating System which was done between May 2013 and September 2014. “The rating system is based on a holistic multi-stakeholder approach that uses a diverse information collection and verification approach, which relies not only on self-assessments of companies but also on experiences of stakeholders and experts. It is envisioned to be more transparent on rating procedures and rating governance than other Corporate Governance indices”, Apampa said. The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance (Berlin/Germany) was appointed as the International Observer to review and support the process of establishing Nigeria’s Corporate Governance.
The CGRS launch event attracted over 500 corporate sector participants joined by government and civil society delegates from Nigeria and across the globe. A series of high-level discussions around the theme, “Better for Business”, provided participants with unique insights into issues of leadership and corporate governance within the Nigerian context. It also highlighted the CGRS framework which has been designed to evaluate companies based on the quality of corporate integrity; corporate compliance; understanding of fiduciary responsibilities by directors and corporate reputation.
The panel discussion moderated by the CEO Rescources & Trust, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, was made up of corporate governance experts who spoke on the trends and best practises. Panelists include Mr. Andreas Grimminger, PGS Advisors International; Michael Lakota, former Managing Director/CEO, Siemens Nigeria Ltd; Mr. Jermyn Brooks Director, Transparency International and Mrs. Osaretin Odaro-Oyewumi, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CLB-SAGE.