TThe Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that adherence to good corporate governance creates a focus on value creation proposition that leads to sustainable growth of the nation’s $70 billion telecoms industry.
He said in his remarks at the zonal sensitisation workshop on the code of corporate governance for the telecoms industry held in Enugu over the weekend where he also announced that the Commission had commenced compliance and enforcement monitory to the code by the telecoms companies.
Dambatta said the workshop was geared towards sensitization and enlightenment of the industry stakeholders and the general public on the existence of the code, “and to critically draw your attention to the adopted international best practices and principles enunciated therein.”
He said the code principles are now mandatory baselines expected to reflect the international flavours of Nigeria’s telecoms industry and provide opportunity to provide comparable benchmarks.
“There is no doubt today the communications industry is pivotal to the sustainability of national economy and thus poised to provide the backbone on which our national future growth depends.
“That being the case, the industry ought to lead in ways and means that will avail the confidence needed to drive the level and volume of investment and capital that will make the difference in our economic and developmental fortune,” he said.
According to him, corporate governance code prescribes principles, guidelines, standards, of ethics and business processes for the communications sector.
“Given the international nature of the business of communications and to fully align its business processes and standards, to attract and retain investment and capital into the sector, it became imperative to standardize to international best practices by emphasizing and enthroning ethics, integrity, accountability and responsiveness in disclosure requirement, which are the values encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Industry,” he said.
The Code of Corporate Governance for the Telecommunications Industry (the Code), he said, was developed through an Industry Working Group and presented to Stakeholders in June, 2014 and was run on voluntary compliance basis for two years up to June, 2016.
According to him, during that period, painstaking compliance levels evaluation was undertaken and the need to migrate compliance to a mandatory framework was duly established.
“At an industry consultation held in Lagos in June, 2016 migration of the applicability and compliance levels reporting from voluntary to mandatory was formally announced and adopted by stakeholders.
Essentially, the NCC boss said the code prescribes minimum threshold of global best practices covering processes, procedures and general corporate behaviour for telecommunications industry players.
Meanwhile, the NCC has begun enforcement and monitoring for code compliance, just as it said the essential ingredient of the structured journey is to ensure good corporate governance in the sector.