• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Institute of Directors urged to intervene in FG, foreign airlines’ face-off

How corporate governance can aid strong economy – IoD

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has been urged to wade into the crisis rocking the aviation industry leading to the threat by foreign airlines to ground their operations in Nigeria due to their inability to take out their millions of dollars trapped in Nigeria.

This is because if the foreign airlines quit the country, other businesses may follow suit and this would further worsen Nigeria’s already troubled economy.

The appeal was made at a business luncheon by the South-South/South-East chapter of the IoD held at Faarah Coffee Lounge in Port Harcourt on Thursday, August 25, by Rufus Godwin, the head of service of the Rivers State government.

According to Godwin, the exit of foreign airlines would shrink Nigeria’s sovereignty and force top people to go to neighbouring African countries to take flights to oversee countries, and later, other businesses would flee Nigeria.

He said only highly respectable organisations and pressure groups such as the IoD can speak truth to the government and get them to wake up and see the danger ahead. He also appealed to them to intervene in the Academic Staff Association of Universities (ASUU) crisis.

The head of service, said the theme of the luncheon, ‘Driving sustainable business in the South-South and South-East regions: issues, challenges and solutions’, was puzzling because there may be no more businesses in the two zones.

He said the South-East economy has been crippled by ‘Sit-At-Home’ and killings while the South-South economy had since been ravaged by militancy, criminality and now oil theft with attendant problems.

He said what the IoD could do was to campaign for rebuilding or re-starting of the economies of the two economic zones since directors were persons and experts groomed in the art of managing corporate bodies to the satisfaction of shareholders.

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In his welcome remarks, the zonal chairman, Adoage Norteh, founder of Faarah Coffee Lounge, said time has come to seek solutions, not just to bemoan challenges facing businesses in the SS/SE.

Speaking later in an interview through an official, Kufre Abasi Etim Ubaha, said most of the proposed solutions would be deployed by the directors in their various corporate entities while some others would be tabled to governments by the IoD and other economic institutions partnering with the IoD.

In her remarks, the national president of IoD, Ije Jidenma, said the institute now focuses not only on multinationals but on efforts to groom Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by giving them corporate governance templates and other capacities to grow.

She said the likes of Dangote Group grew from small levels. She also talked about helping to create clusters across Nigeria so the SMEs can be incubated.

Jidenma said the IoD must now network with the universities to bring young directors up, and said the future is with young business owners especially in hitech and IT fields where billions of naira and dollars are being made by young entrepreneurs.

In his royal intervention, the king, Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, the Ezegbakagbaka (Eze Oha 111 of Evo Kingdom) urged the IoD to close ranks with all other business groups to present common front and demands to the government so as to make an impact.

He also advised the directors to remove politics from the boardroom and care more about the success of Nigeria than profit because if the country crashed, companies would crash too.

The highlight of the luncheon was a keynote paper delivered by an erudite resource person and information technology consultant, Tambari Sibe.