The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has tasked its members to invest in good corporate governance in order to achieve sustainable development.
The charge was given on Thursday in Lagos at a business meeting organised by ICSAN Lagos State Chapter.
In her presentation, Mrs Bridget Gold, Deputy General Manager, Legal, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said corporate sustainability wasn’t a destination but a journey that must emphasise actions, not just words.
According to her, good corporate governance does not only protect an organisation but all the stakeholders connected with it.
She described corporate governance as a set of tools, rules, relations, processes and systems designed for the fair and efficient management of an enterprise.
“Corporate governance consists of mechanisms to ensure that suppliers of finance to corporation will get a return on their investment.
“This means that corporate governance is intended to make sure investors get their money back.
“Given that someone else – managers or agents – will make all the decisions about how the money is used after investors have parted with their money,” she said.
Gold urged sustainability oriented boards to consider their stakeholders including employees and shareholders when taking decisions.
She also advised the boards of organisations to evaluate themselves periodically to ensure they are still working in line with their vision.
Senior Partner, Philip Consulting, Mr Paul Ayim, said during his presentation that the pillars of GCG were transparency, fairness, accountability and responsibility.
According to him, surveys carried out by his organisation revealed that certain bad practices affect the successful implementation of corporate governance.
Some of these bad practices, he said, include the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), being one individual.
According to him, also having the CEO as a member of audit committee and non-disclosure of CEO remuneration may negate corporate governance.
He urged organisations to adopt international best practices of corporate governance.
Speaking on the event, Mr Francis Olawale, Chairman, ICSAN Lagos Chapter, said corporate governance could be entrenched if there was an objective.
“One of its objectives is to redistribute commonwealth to the citizenry. As long as there is that objective, corporate governance can be entrenched,” he said.
Olawale, however, urged ICSAN members not to give up if corporate governance is to take its rightful place.
Deputy General Manager (DGM), Legal Adviser and Head of Corporate Services, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Mr Jose Ibitayo, said an example of bad corporate governance was when personal challenges affect services delivered to the public.
He advised company secretaries to ensure their voices were heard in the organisations where they worked and to document decisions taken at meetings.