In preparation for the standard effectiveness of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), and NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo), recently organised five webinars to prepare companies for the imminent release of the ISSB’s first two IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, better known as IFRS S1 (General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information); and IFRS S2 (Climate-related Disclosures).
The webinars themed; ISSB Industry-based Disclosure: Using the SASB Standards – A Tool for Disclosure of Sustainability-Related Information, was well attended by over 1,500 individuals from Nigeria, Africa and beyond, and held from June 6 to June 8, 2023.
The webinars featured presentations on IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 as well as the industry-specific metrics drawn from the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standards. These covered four industries: the Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Food & Beverages and Consumer Goods sectors.
Commending the FRCN, ISSB and NGX RegCo for their efforts in helping to create awareness around the launch and adoption of IFRS 1 and IFRS 2, Shuaibu Adamu, Executive Secretary of the FRCN said that it is encouraging that African countries are coming together to collaborate in this capacity building programme because it is clear that Africa does not intend to be left behind and is partnering with the IFRS Foundation to ensure significant further investment in capacity building for African countries is delivered, also to ensure the ISSB standards are truly global in their implementation.
Speaking during the webinar series, Iheanyi Anyahara, Director, Directorate of Accounting Standards (Public Sector) of the FRCN commended the joint efforts of the organizers to ensure that Nigerian companies are prepared to early adopt the ISSB Standards when they become effective. He also noted that the capacity building engagements will continue even after the webinar series.
Additionally, Anyahara (a doctor) stated that the FRCN has inaugurated the Adoption Readiness Working Group (ARWG), which will make recommendations to the FRCN on the adoption of the IFRS Sustainability Standards in Nigeria.
Tinuade Awe, Chief Executive Officer, NGX RegCo stated that as a member of the NGX Group, NGX RegCo has been involved in furthering the development of sustainability reporting in Nigeria over a period of time.
Expressing her appreciation to the FRC and the ISSB for collaborating with NGX RegCo in this successful effort, Awe noted that the webinars were necessary in order to get Nigerian and African companies ready to comply with IFRS S1 and IFRS S2 when they become effective so that they will not be left behind in the global race to unlock capital for growth and development.
On her part, Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Board Member of the ISSB said that “the IFRS Accounting standards are used across 140 countries and the objective of the IFRS Sustainability Standards is to enable companies provide a global baseline of sustainability-related and climate related disclosures that are decision useful, cost-effective and market informed providing comparability across companies, industries and markets and applicable without undue cost and effort.
According to Nnoli-Edozien (a doctor), the sustainability-related disclosures are important to global capital markets, and will develop a common language of sustainability related disclosures that provide decision useful information to investors, with the potential to unlock capital flows.
Members of the working groups at the webinars which include; General Manager, Sustainability & Shared Value, MTN Nigeria Plc, (a member of the ARWG), Adekemi Adisa, Chief Financial Officer, Interswitch Limited, (a member of the ARWG), Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Onyinye Eneh (a doctor), all hinged on sustainability reporting as a critical tool for unlocking the capital that companies need and added that the release of IFRS S1 and S2 by the ISSB is a huge relief and would go a long way in addressing this issue for these companies.