Minister lauds FRC on corporate governance

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello

Agency seeks govt’s intervention on Abuja property

Collins Nweze

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello has lauded the role of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) in promoting corporate governance.

He spoke when the FRC Council, led by its Executive Secretary, Daniel Asapokhai visited the minister in Abuja.

During the meeting, the FRC  boss called on the Federal Government to assist it in recovering its landed property located at Guzape ,  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Asapokhai stated that the agency had not been able to carry out any meaningful development on the disputed property due to the activities of squatters.

He said that unlike many of the Federal Government agencies, FRC operates from Lagos.

He said the agency has since 2015, been working with the Federal Government to have its headquarters in Abuja. “We have been following our petition with the Federal Government that in 2015, there was an approval for us to get a landed property in Abuja to able to build our headquarters. It was same time that government approved the adoption of International Financial  Reporting Standards (IFRS) and also for the public sector to use the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). We also did a launching of a fund that was meant to establish an IFRS academy meant for the training of people in the public and private on financial standard,” he said.

“So, through your ministry we were granted a landed property in Guzape and is 10,000 square meters. Unfortunately since that 2015 that we were granted certificate of occupancy, we have not been able to embark on any development work as a result of the squatters that have been on the property,” he narrated.

Speaking further, he stressed that the council is a regulatory agency of the federal government and supervise by the Minister of Trade and Investment. “In terms of what we do, is  to promote trade and investment in Nigeria.  And it’s true that we are charged with both functions, to regulate corporate governance and financial reporting in order to create conducive environment for investment because if we have well governed companies and the report is fully and properly reported to investors in a proper environment were people want to do business, that would create respect.”

Bello, while appreciating the visit, promised to look into the matter and bring the dispute to a quick end.

According to him, “Based on your presentation and the letter you presented that I have glanced, I understand what the issues are. And as an organisation, we will try our best to support you to see how this matter is brought to a conclusion. I will suggest that if you have a liaison officer here in Abuja, we will direct him to link up with the Chief of Staff who will coordinate the matter before the President if you have anybody here in Abuja.  It does not matter, you can directly link up the Chief of Staff and the matter will be rested.

“And having said that, l have personally followed the activities of your Council. And I think the reason for establishing your Council is very important particularly at the stage we are now as a developing country. He noted that as a minister, he has had course to see a lot of conflict in respect to corporate governance. Especially in corporative associations of government workers in various ministries. This he said, was something that the council may want to beam their searchlight on because, “you find out that the corporative movements especially for public sector workers is meant to serve as mean of cushion in for their day to day activities and welfare and some of them, have a potential huge amount of resources and from what I have been reading, due to lack of corporate governance and proper financial documentation and reporting, a lot of members lose thousands of their money and a few people go scotch free.”

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