The Nigerian Online Newspaper

Suspend FRCN’s code of corporate governance regulation, Reps urge FG

The House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to suspend the implementation of the Code of Corporate Governance regulation initiated by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.
This was sequel to a resolution passed after a debate on a motion sponsored by the House’s Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, who described the council’s action as unconstitutional.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion stressed the need to curb the excesses of chief executives of federal agencies.
The lawmakers, who accused the FRCN of usurping the powers of the legislature, queried where the council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Governance without the approval of the National Assembly.
In a lead debate, Ogor noted that the objective of the council, among others, was to protect stakeholders’ interests and ensure good corporate practices in public and private sectors of the economy.
He said that section 73 of the FRCN Act granted the council powers to make regulations, which must be in consonance with the Act.
Ogor said Governance Code formulated by the FRCN as it concerned heads of non-profit making organizations was a clear usurpation of National Assembly powers as stipulated in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The lawmaker argued that the corporate governance code was alien to the National Assembly as it was not in any way approved as in the case of National Building Code.
He added that such subsidiary legislation must be in conformity with international best practices.
Stressing the need to halt the implementation of the “controversial’’ code, Ogor maintained that an overzealous chief executive officer of a regulatory body could misinterpret or misapply the provisions of the code.
In his contribution, Rep. Ossai Ossai (PDP-Delta), who emphasised the need for transparency and accountability in the country, noted that all delegated legislations should be transmitted to the National Assembly for further legislative action.
He argued that the issue of succession and tenure were spiritual matters ordained by God.
On his part, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers), who kicked against the arbitrary abuse of power, stressed the need for proper checks and balances.
Rep. Sunday Karimi (PDP-Kogi) said the outcome of the crisis was an embarrassment to the Presidency and commended the intervention of the Federal Government to douse the tension.
Karimi emphasised the need for the House to strengthen its regulatory powers of oversight activities of government’s agencies.
In her contribution, Rep. Onyemachi Mkpakor (PDP-Delta) argued that the pronouncement of the erstwhile FRCN Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee, was an embarrassment to the House and by extension the government.
Also speaking, Rep. Mohammed Datti (APC-Kaduna) urged the House to come up with recommendations that would counter all the subsidiary legislations unilaterally initiated by Ministries, Departments and Agencies without approval of the National Assembly.
After adopting the motion, the lawmakers insisted on stringent oversight functions to avoid future occurrence.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committees on Delegated Legislations and Public Account to carry out a detailed public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.
The committees are to report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.