COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 2021 ANNUAL DIRECTORS’ CONFERENCE OF THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS, NIGERIA
The Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD Nigeria) is the apex professional body in Nigeria with a mandate to cater for and represent Directors in their individual capacities across the various sectors of the economy. It has made significant and impressive strides, working closely with government, corporate organisations, bilateral chambers and diplomatic missions to raise the standard of corporate governance and leadership in the private and public sectors.
IoD Nigeria is committed to its cardinal objective of sharpening the professional skills of Directors, business leaders, technocrats, top level civil and public servants through its internationally recognised Director Development Programmes.
As part of the Institute’s contribution to nation building, IoD Nigeria annually organizes an epic event that is the largest gathering of directors and business leaders in Nigeria. It is called the IoD Nigeria Annual Directors’ Conference (ADC).
The 2021 edition of the Annual Directors’ Conference with the theme, “Creating the Future: Deepening Corporate Governance Practices through Multi-Sectorial and Multi-Generational Collaborations” was held from Tuesday,
23rd to Wednesday, 24th November 20210 as a Hybrid event, with the physical venue at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, SAN, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria was the Special Guest of Honour, while Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, CON, Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment and Dr. Chris Ngige, Hon. Minister of Labour & Employment were Guests of Honour. The Chairman of the Opening Session was Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, F.IoD, CON, Chairman, BUA Group, while the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, Chairman, Heirs Holding.
Speakers, Panellists and Moderators at the Conference included, Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Austin Avuru, Chairman, AA Holdings; Mr. Etop Ikpe, CEO, Autochek Africa; Ms. Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, M.IoD, CEO, Future Software Services Limited; Mr. Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School, Arc. Yusuf Kazaure, Chairman, Nigerian Communications Satellite, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, Principal Partner, Kenna Partners and Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, Director General, SMEDAN.
This theme of the Conference underscored the importance of corporate governance practices and further captured the Institute’s desire to inculcate good corporate governance practice at all levels and in the public and private sectors of the Nigeria economy. The theme also underlined the need for synergy between the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy and also the inclusion of new generation entrepreneurs and directors in the quest for driving corporate governance and ethical practices.
With the new 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which draws attention to the relevance of multi-sectoral and multi-generational approaches to building good corporate governance and best practices, the 2021 ADC presented a clarion call to the government to embrace the principles of corporate governance that will make public office holders more accountable, responsible and sensitive to the interest of all stakeholders and the general citizenry. It also brought to the fore the need for more cross-generational engagements to ensure the success and survival of organisations.
That the bridge between the old and young leaders is data and the millennials can help to use data to create the future of organisations.
That organisations must begin to engage the new generation of young Directors in Board processes in order to build their leadership capacities.
That new generation of Directors; especially the millennials should be exposed to good corporate governance practices such as proper board constitution, keeping proper governance charter, and imbibing good ethical practices in their businesses.
That entrepreneurs must be encouraged to create a culture of accountability and probity in order to build sustainable businesses that can outlive them.
That successful collaboration across generations and sectors, through proper sharing of information on good governance and best practices, will ensure the survival and growth of SMEs, especially those managed by the millennials.
That the IoD should remain proactive and be at the forefront of promoting effective corporate governance through mentorship and building capacity of the younger talent.
That young entrepreneurs should be invited to be part of programmes like the IoD ADC, in order to share from the experiences of older directors to bridge the knowledge gap of corporate governance and best practices.
That young managers should be allowed to participate in boardroom processes even as observers, early enough, to make them imbibe the culture of good corporate governance.
That organizations must begin to take advantage of the leadership potentials of the young employees so that there will be good succession planning and corporate continuity.
That Boards of Directors must maintain a commitment to ensure accountability, fairness, diversity management, and transparency within corporate governance and to acquire adequate skills necessary to review management practices at the board level.
That all corporate governance policies and procedures must be transparent and disclosed to all relevant stakeholders to facilitate strong adoption of the principles at all levels of governance.
That for more successful private/public sectors partnership, which is crucial to the development of infrastructure in Nigeria, the government must:
a. Urgently make efforts to repeal, streamline or modify those laws and regulations that are creating hurdles and challenges for greater private sector players’ participation in key Public Private Partnership infrastructure projects (PPP).
b. Develop the capacities of relevant government officials, especially the Legal Officers, to develop skills in specialized contracts. This should be extended to personnel involved in the enforcement of judgments and court orders, especially the Sheriff departments and Bailiff sections of High Courts.
c. Answer investors’ questions on commitment and respect for terms of the contract, ensure swift enforceability of terms of the contract and put in place alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
d. Build core professionalism in public managers in order to ensure that public interests are protected during contract negotiations to prevent the occurrence of situations in which government fails to honor obligations in protest against lopsidedness.
e. Delineate the roles of government and the private sector in infrastructure financing; with clear guidelines for leveraging diaspora and pension funds as well as a framework for asset ownership.
f. Work with industry to find the right balance between maintaining strict regulations and ensuring that businesses remain regionally and globally competitive.
g. Conduct Training Need Analysis (TNA) and develop an inventory of competencies and capabilities for Infrastructure Service Delivery in the public service. This will entail audit of existing competency gaps public service-wide, and ensuring that they are aligned, to ensure effectiveness and performance of PPP projects
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT
; The Institute of Directors of Nigeria hereby:
Recognize the efforts of government at deepening corporate governance practice in the public sector and the institution of various reform programs to drive a clearly defined governance structure in the civil service.
Recognize the efforts of the Federal Government at promoting and institutionalizing Corporate Governance practice through the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation in collaboration with private sector organizations.
ü Recognize the willingness of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Nigeria to partner with Governments to drive the practice of Corporate Governance in the public service through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to promote the mutual and seamless attainment of our national aspirations.
ADOPTED this day the 24th of November, 2021.
BAMIDELE ALIMI, M.IoD, FNIM