ICAN, NGX Regco Recommits To Transparency, Excellence In Corporate Reporting

…As Dangote Cement, Airtel, Seplat Top Award

By Olushola Okunlade

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and NGX Regulation Limited (NGX RegCo) on Friday, 17th May held the maiden corporate reporting award, which recognizes the top 30 most capitalized companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) for the 2022 financial reporting year.

The awards underscored both organization’s shared commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and international best practices within the private sector. Evaluation criteria included financial reporting, corporate governance, and sustainability reporting.

Dangote Cement secured the top position across all three categories, earning the Platinum award alongside the best-in-class award of excellence in corporate governance. Airtel clinched the gold award, securing the second position and the best-in-class award of excellence in financial reporting for the period under review. Seplat Energy was honored with the Silver and best-in-class awards for excellence in sustainability reporting.

Speaking at the event, the president of ICAN, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, commended NGX RegCo for ensuring better disclosures and reporting among listed companies.

He noted that corporate reporting had evolved over the years from when most of its content focused on financial reporting to when the clamor emerged for incorporating social and environmental disclosures.

He emphasized the evolution of corporate reporting over time, highlighting the shift from a primary focus on financial reporting to the increasing request to incorporate social and environmental disclosures, noting that “the latter has evolved and have been differently propagated including but not limited to Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure and of late sustainability disclosures”.

Okwuosa added that good corporate reporting must reflect the best elements in corporate governance, financial, and sustainability reporting, highlighting that the maiden edition is limited to NGX-30 companies for ease of administration and will be extended to all the listed companies in the future.

In his welcome address, the CEO of NGX RegCo, Mr. Olufemi Shobanjo, highlighted that “without a doubt, transparency is one of the key drivers of any economy. It ensures full disclosure of information by entities and that such information is easily accessible to members of the public to make informed decisions. Over the years, there has been an evolution in the type and quality of information demanded, driven by heightened expectations from investors, decision-makers, and society as a whole.”

He added that “while financial reports remain at the forefront of information required by stakeholders, the concept of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations has become an area of increasing interest to both public and private sector stakeholders”.

Shobanjo attributed this to the interplay between ESG and key issues such as sustainable development, corporate governance, climate change, stakeholder engagement, and community relations amongst a myriad of other issues.

“Stakeholders are beginning to demand more accountability, and companies are required to think beyond just profitability by expanding their scope to include the ethical impacts that their operations have on society or communities within which they operate.”

He concluded that “as a self-regulatory organization, NGX Regulation remains committed to ensuring that the expectations of investors and other stakeholders regarding access to quality information are met.”

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