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FG moves to control churches, mosques, others



FG moves to control churches, mosques, others
• FRC Executive Secretary/CEO, Dr. Rabiu Olowo

•Olowo, new executive secretary, unfolds transformation agenda

•Says companies, govt institutions falling short of standards expected under the FRC Act

Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), Dr. Rabiu Olowo, yesterday, unveiled his agenda for the council, including a plan to re-introduce a corporate governance code for not-for-profit organisations and the public sector.

In an address he presented during a stakeholders’ and media roundtable in Lagos, Olowo stressed that the codes for both the public and not-for-profit sectors were at an advanced stage, with the target to unveil them within the first quarter of 2024.

Not-for-profit organisations include churches, mosques and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In 2016, the FRC led by Jim Obazee, who was recently appointed by President Bola Tinubu to investigate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had ordered not-for-profit organisations, including churches and mosques, to comply with the corporate governance code, which, among others, had stipulated term limits for heads of the organisations. The development, which became controversial, as it was challenged by some of the prominent church leaders in the country, had led to the removal of Obazee.

But speaking during the media roundtable, Olowo explained, “As controversial as it is, it is something that must be done. If you do a risk analysis of entities in any country, the not-for-profit sector is as risky as the profit entities. So, it is very important that we issue codes on how these institutions are covered. It is our responsibility to do that and we will not shy away from that.”

Olowo, who was appointed the FRC boss last month, said the transformation agenda of the council would be hinged on four broad areas tagged, “DOSE, which means Digitisation, Operational Excellence, Stakeholder Engagement and Enforcement.” He said this was in line with Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda”.

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Olowo pointed out that the “21st Century has seen a massive shift from manual processes into a digital operationalisation of activities. Our transformation agenda is hinged upon the use of technological tool to enhance our activities.

“FRC will leverage on technology to streamline its operations and improve efficiency. This includes the use of technology in the filing and analysis of financial statements, corporate governance reports and other corporate filings, as well as the implementation of online reporting systems to facilitate timely and accurate submission of financial statements.

“Our focus will be to ensure efficient and effective delivery of flawless service to the stakeholders through digitalisation, capacity building, advocacy and thought leadership. Our processes will be automated to ensure quick and timely responses”.


Olowo also stated that financial statements, corporate governance reports and all other corporate reporting requirements expected from relevant stakeholders would be done through the council’s planned Digital Repository Platform as mandated by FRC Act 2011 (as amended).

According to him, “The council commenced the development of the Public Sector Governance Code, which is very close to completion and forms a key part of my agenda. The public sector remains the catalyst of economic growth in not only Nigeria but emerging markets. Institutionalisation of corporate governance in the public sector of Nigerian economy is fundamental towards sound policies and economic growth. This we plan to unveil in the first quarter of year 2024.

“Similarly, the council, seeing the need for proper guidance to Not-For-Profit Organisations, embarked on developing a Governance Code for Not-For-Profit 10 Organisations. The code is at an advanced stage with the target to unveil same within the first quarter of 2024.”

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He also said FRC would introduce the Inspection Specialist Programme, which would complement and strengthen its monitoring efforts focusing on a sectorial leadership approach to review of corporate reports.

Olowo stated, “There is need to scale up staff capacity in terms of number of professional staff and skills. As an umbrella regulator in financial reporting and related matters, the current number of professional staff in the Council is grossly inadequate. Their skills are expected to be top-notch and comparable with similar organisations globally.

“Our aim is to raise capacity of staff both in number and skills to the highest desirable level. A gradual increase in the number of staff will be undertaken to progressively raise the number to about 450 staff with appropriate number of professionals included in the next few years.

“Another initiative of capacity building is to undertake twinning arrangements with sister regulators globally. This will help to benchmark and fine tune the Council’s professional resources to international levels. Talents will be sourced both internally and externally to meet the demands of corporate reporting which includes IFRS, IPSAS, Corporate Governance, Auditing Standards and Sustainability Reporting. iv. Establishment of all the Statutory Directorates Section 23 of the FRC Act 2011 (As amended) stipulated 7 directorates for the Council. Unfortunately, after 12 years of the establishment of the Council, only five out of the seven directorates are functional as earlier mentioned.

“However, and in line with our transformation agenda, Council has taken it as a priority to have the full complements of the Directorates in 2024 as stipulated in the Act. The Council is engaging the relevant stakeholders for the establishment of the Directorate of Valuation Standards and Directorate of Actuarial Standards.”


He said the issuance of roadmap report for sustainability reporting in Nigeria would be done before the end of the first quarter of 2024.

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While calling for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders, Olowo said, “We have witnessed concerning evidence that numerous entities and government institutions are falling short of the high standards expected under the FRC Act 2011.  Our task therefore is to transform the FRC into a new, robust, independent, and high-performing regulator comparable globally.

“The bedrock of the transformation agenda of the council going forward is to ensure maximum compliance with the FRC Act 2011 (as amended), and other statutory instruments released by the Council. FRC intends to give full credibility to any financial statements coming out of Nigeria in a way that investors can rely on the information in the statements.

“A new FRC that will be firm and fair in carrying out her mandate; that will hold corporates and individuals accountable; and that will restore confidence in corporate reports and governance in the Nigerian economy thereby enhance the renewed hope of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.” (THISDAY)



Yahaya Bello: AGF backs EFCC, warns those obstructing agency from performing its lawful duty



Prince Lateef Fagbemi AGF

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, has warned public officials both serving and non serving to desist from obstructing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from carrying out it’s statutory operations.

Prince Fagbemi was reacting to news making the rounds in media space that former Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, has been obstructing the EFCC in it’s attempt to arrest him.

The AGF said “The bizarre drama confronting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the course of its efforts to perform its statutory duty has come to his notice.”

He described such situation “as a matter of very grave concern”.

The Justice Minister warned that the EFCC under the establishing law, has the legal right to invite, arrest or prosecute any person without minding status.

“It is now beyond doubt that the EFCC is given power by the law to invite any person of interest to interact with them in the course of their investigation into any matter regardless of status.

“Therefore, the least that we can all do when invited, is not to put any obstruction in the way of EFCC but to honourably answer their invitation.

“A situation where public officals who are themselves subject of protection by law enforcement agents will set up a stratagem of obstruction to the civil and commendable efforts of the EFCC to perform its duty is to say the least, insufferably disquieting.


“A flight from the law does not resolve issues at stake but only exacerbates it” the AGF warned.

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In a statement on Thursday, Prince Fagbemi stated unequivocally that he stands for the rule of law and will promptly call EFCC and indeed any other agency to order when there is indication of any transgression of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian by any of the agencies.


However, he tenaciously held the view that institutions of State should be allowed to function effectively and efficiently.

Nigeria, he said, has a vibrant judicial system that is capable of protecting everyone who follows the rule of law in seeking protection.

“I encourage anyone who has been invited by the EFCC or any other agency to immediately toe the path of decency and civility by honouring such invitation instead of embarking on a temporising self-help and escapism that can only put our country in bad light before the rest of the world” the AGF stated.

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Junior Pope: South East filmmakers protest in Enugu



• Protesting Southeast filmmakers
Different groups involved in filmmaking under the auspices of South East Film Crew Welfare, Wednesday afternoon, took to the street protesting the manner five of their members died after a boat conveying them to shooting location capsized in Anambra River.

Junior Pope, Abigail Frederick, Precious Oforum, Joseph Anointing and Friday Okoroafor, all lost their lives in the unfortunate incident.

Members of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Creative Designers Guild of Nigeria (CDGN) in Enugu State and others marched on the streets of Enugu metropolis from Okpara Square, Independence Layout, through Rangers Avenue, Bissala Road and terminated at Film Arena, National Museum.

A candle light procession was slated in honour of the fallen heroes and heroines.

Their spokesperson, Jonas Onunweze, a props and set designer, condemned the treatment given to artistes and other Nollywood crew members by film producers.

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Yoruba Nation: Those threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty have price to pay, Tinubu warns



Yoruba Nation: Those threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty have price to pay, Tinubu warns
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

–As he receives Afenifere leaders

—Says he’s resolute in achieving economic security

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu on Wednesday gave a strong warning to ethnic agitators, saying that those who think they can threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria will have a price to pay.

President Tinubu also  said that his administration remained undeterred in its pursuit of comprehensive economic security for the country while addressing foundational challenges and creating a fair and equitable system in which all Nigerians can thrive.

Speaking when he received leaders of Afenifere, the respected Yoruba Socio-Cultural Organization, at the State House in Abuja, the President said his administration is re-engineering Nigeria’s finances and seeking to boost the purchasing power of citizens, and spread prosperity down the line, by instituting a credit system where the element of cash is not an impediment to a significantly enhanced standard of living for all citizens.

He said Nigeria must secure itself economically first before it can achieve any of its more sophisticated objectives.

The President in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, was quoted as saying, ‘’We are committed to the economic survival of our country. To re-engineer the finances of our country, we must start in earnest. So first, retool, revamp the economic opportunities available, and resolve to continue taking the firm and steady baby steps that are necessary.

‘’Education is a strong weapon against poverty. To empower the people, we must invest in the future of our youths. We have seen the problems parents face in training their children in school; it is the reason why we established the National Student Loan Programme, which is taking off well.

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‘’We are equally examining what to do with the high degree of unemployment. We must help vulnerable people by providing social security. We are looking at how to provide allowances for the unemployed, and we are developing ways to boost the purchasing power of citizens with the Consumer Credit Scheme. If we remove the cash upfront element to buy a car or a house, we will reduce the propensity for fraud and corruption across the land,’’ President Tinubu said.


Speaking on security, the President declared that those who threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria would pay a heavy price.

The President threat is coming on the heels of the recent report in which some people from the South West embarked on agitation for Yoruba nation.

Tinubu said, ‘’I am irrevocably committed to the unity of Nigeria and constitutional democracy.Constitutional democracy is reflected greatly here since we assumed office. What we face now is the challenge of terrorism. Security of life and property is very necessary for development. I can tell you we are achieving success. We have degraded terrorism to a level that they cannot threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria any longer.

‘’Banditry and kidnapping will be defeated. And there is no payment of ransom whatsoever. We are taking the battle to them. We are getting results more rapidly than before. We are working hard on intelligence gathering. Those who think they can threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria will have themselves to blame. They have a price to pay. And we are not going to relent.”

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The President thanked the esteemed delegation for their prayers and support, assuring them that he would not relent in his resolve to advance Nigeria.

‘’God bless Nigeria. God bless our unity; our diversity must bring prosperity for all for the sake of Nigeria,’’ President Tinubu concluded.

Earlier in his remarks, His Royal Majesty, Oba Olu Falae commended the President for his courageous decisions and for the rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, as well as other critical ongoing projects.

He urged the President not to relent in ensuring fairness and equity for all Nigerians while noting the importance of a constitutional amendment to devolve more powers to the states.


‘’We are delighted about what you are doing for our country, and we assure you of our continued support. We thank you for your visit to Akure in February 2024, and we believe it is right and proper to reciprocate your kind gesture. We appreciate this relationship, and we need to make it work in the interest of Nigeria.

‘’Mr. President, you are the leader of Nigeria now and the most important political figure in Africa. We expect you, in view of your legacy and pedigree, to lead our country with knowledge, courage, and integrity. We have no doubt that your tenure will mark a turning point in the history of our country. Under your leadership, Nigeria will be repositioned.

‘’We will stand by you as you make all efforts to change the Nigeria story for the better. Be assured Afenifere will not abandon you in fair or foul weather. As long as you remain faithful to the principles of fairness, integrity, and courage that is expected of you as the leader of Nigeria, we will stand by you,’’ Oba Falae said.

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The delegation was led by Pa Reuben Fasoranti, leader of Afenifere; Oba Falae, alongside other eminent citizens.

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