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NSE, CBI laud firms, directors over corporate governance culture

NSE, CBI laud firms, directors over corporate governance culture

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Stanley Opara

In a bid to promote global best practices, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Convention on Business Integrity held a certification ceremony for 35 companies and 437 directors that made the 70 per cent threshold in the Corporate Governance Rating System process.

The companies, on Thursday, were awarded the CGRS certification while the directors were awarded certificates for success in the Fiduciary Awareness Certification Test, which is a key component of the CGRS.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by Amb. Chiedu Osakwe, the Nigeria chief trade negotiator/director-general, Office of Trade Negotiation, delivered the closing remarks. The event saw the successful companies and directors presented with certificates confirming their CGRS certifications.

Speaking at the event, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, CBi, Soji Apampa, said, “This is a triumph for collective action in the fight against corruption and unethical practices. I congratulate the companies and directors being honoured today and I urge them not to relent in their efforts to sustain the high level of corporate governance that has brought them thus far.

“Today’s celebration is not a destination but a continuous process that should be consistently maintained and further improved upon. I encourage other listed companies still on this evolutionary process to keep at it and conclude the process during this new review period which is now open.”

Another highlight of the event was the launch of the Corporate Governance Index of the NSE. The index will track the performance of the 35 CGRS-rated companies using their market capitalisation, free float and corporate governance rating scores. The index will be reviewed on a bi-annual basis at which point other companies that have become CGRS-rated in the interim may be added to the index or companies that have had their ratings suspended or withdrawn may be removed.

The index is expected to be an important tool for investors keen on investing in well governed companies as well as corporates eager to distinguish themselves on the ground of governance.

Speaking on the newly introduced index, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema, said, “The launch of the CG Index is an important milestone to strengthening listed companies by tracking their corporate governance practices. This index will increase transparency in our market and provide investors additional data points upon which to make sound decisions. I congratulate the companies that have successfully completed the process and I expect that they will be more positively looked at whilst trying to raise and access capital within or outside of our jurisdiction.”

The CGRS was launched on November 3, 2014 after a successful pilot phase involving a number of companies listed on the NSE some of which are now listed on the Premium Board. The CGRS was designed to rate companies that are listed on the NSE based on their corporate governance and anti-corruption culture.

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