The new Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, has been suspended pending a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board of the reporting council, according to a statement on Monday by the minister of industry, trade and investment.
The code which was initiated during during the last administration but only came into force last year generated controversy when Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, stepped down last Saturday as national overseer of the church.
The governance code was initiated for both private, public and not-for-profit sectors of the economy.
In a statement on Monday, January 9, 2016 the minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, whose ministry supervises the FRC, said “government is committed to strengthening FRC and enhancing its capacity to fulfill its core mandate.”
Earlier on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the executive secretary of the FRC, Jim Obazee, and reconstituted the board of the council.
The FRC is responsible for setting and promoting compliance with standards for accounting, financial reporting and auditing in Nigeria. It also regulates the practices of professionals involved in financial reporting and promotes good practices in financial reporting and corporate governance in Nigeria.
The New Corporate Governance Code
The Corporate Governance Code For Not-for-Profits was revised on October 2016 with specific targets being founders and leaders of non-for-profit organisations.
Reminiscent of the Central Bank of Nigeria rule of 2010 which targeted the heads of banks of Nigeria, this law required that any leader or founder of a non-for-profit in Nigeria should resign after spending “more than 20 years (in office) or is age 70 years and above”.
The law acknowledges the “spiritual role” leaders play in religious organisations, but added that these roles are “distinguishable from corporate governance and management responsibilities”.
In essence, the new government policy is telling churches and religious bodies how to operate and set up its internal leadership structures.
It also said that to ensure the founder/leader’s continuous advisory and spiritual role, the organisation can create a Board of Trustees (BOT) and make the founder/leader the first or life chair. But, every registered non-for-profit in Nigeria is already required by law to have a board of trustees.
See excerpts of the code below:
Adeboye already occupies the position of “Chairman Governing Council” and “Chairman Board of Trustees” of RCCG Worldwide as stated on the church’s website.