• Monday, July 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

IoD to Strengthen Corporate Governance in Nigeria- Abuja IOD Chairman, Aguele

Institute of Directors ( IoD)

The Abuja branch of the Institute of Directors ( IoD) has said it is embarking on developing a fresh approach to strengthening good corporate governance practice in Nigeria through robust welfare for its members.

The Institute also revealed that it is working on getting Charter status for its membership, as well as leveraging on its highly valued reputation to attract stronger support and patronage from the public sector.

At the investiture of the first female Chairman and 8th executive council members in Abuja branch, the IoD said it will mobilize to ensure the passage of the necessary legislation that will ensure that its members are Chartered.

The first female Chairman of the body, Edith Aguele, told BusinessDay in Abuja that under her leadership, “getting Chartered, aggressive membership drive as well as enhanced members welfare” will be major priorities.

BusinessDay recalls that the bill, which seeks to grant IoD charter status was passed in 2018, but did not get presidential ascent.

IoD Nigeria is an affiliate of the IOD of the United Kingdom (UK ), which was founded in 1903. While IOD UK, is fully chartered, their Nigeria affiliate has been struggling with plans to get the status

For Princess Aguele, “Getting the Charter status means a lot to us. It will obviously add value to what we are doing by enhancing training and development.”

“We want to ensure that you cannot sign documents unless you are Chartered , because for us, the success of any company depends on the quality of its leadership and the decisions the directors and employees make.”

Aguele also called for stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors as the body is eager to help in shaping public policy initiatives for better economic opportunities for teeming Nigeria youths

“We have helped in several ways to create jobs for our teeming youths. We provide training opportunities for young mangers, especially our members, but to do this effectively, we need government to collaborate with us.”

The event, which has the theme “Agricultural Value Chain: Opportunities and Challenges” also doubled as a platform to raise awareness on the investment opportunities in the agricultural sector. Guest Speaker at the occasion and Central Bank of Nigeria director in charge of Development Finance, Mudashiru Olaitan, described agriculture as “a low risk but relatively safe investment destination.”

He revealed that while agriculture has an average share of 4.16% of banking sector credit for 2019, the sector has the lowest share of non- performing loan (NPLs) of 2.98% of the total NPLs in the country compared to manufacturing 7.3%, general commerce 10.12%, power and energy 4.12% and oil and gas with 39.94%.

The sector, he said, has a very important role to play, adding that opportunities exist in the areas of storage, marketing, processing, as well as credit expansion.

Olaitan highlighted efforts by CBN in trying to reverse the trend of food importation into the country and unlocking credit expansion by ordering that 65% loans should go to the agriculture.

Others include the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, the Anchor Borrowers Program, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme and the National Food Security Program

“The CBN has also introduced the paddy aggregation scheme, maize aggregation scheme, real sector support facility and the RSSF through differentiated cash reserve ratio ( RSSF-DCRR) “

He appealed to investors to diversify into agriculture as CBN is encouraging that goods with local advantages should not be imported

According to him, “the CBN development finance interventions now covers input financing, financing for production, processing, storage, marketing and exports, as well as consumer financing.”

“All credit facilities are at 9.0% per annum, while Sharia- compliant financing is also available for most programs.”

He however identified further challenges in the sector to include low research and development, and high-risk perception of agriculture by financial institutions.

Others include “high interest rates, financial institutions’ limited knowledge about the need for agropreneurs” leading the CBN to introduce combination of perspectives to address the issues.

The CBN through the Produce, Add-Value and Export (PAVE)  policy, is encouraging farmers and agro-investors to “Produce, add value and export.”

 

Tony Ailemen, Abuja