If Telecommunications Regulatory body the Nigerian Communications Commission makes good its threat to follow the law to the latter, then the days of several top Directors of Nigerian Telecommunication Companies are numbered.
The NCC stated this today at a stakeholders' Sensitization workshop tagged “Code Of Corporate Of Governance For The Telecommunications Industries “where it reeled out the code of ethics expected of all Telecom Operators in Nigeria.
The event which had in attendance top Executive of the Agency led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, his Commissioners and Directors was aimed at sensitizing stakeholders, the Public as well as the Media of the imminent shake up in the Industry.
According to NCC, Telecommunication Communications should no longer be operated and seen as personal companies and properties under the control and caprice of few individuals who sits atop such companies for donkey years.
Going the new directive, all Directors of the Telecommunications will be entitled to not more than 15 years of three terms (Five years each). Thereafter such an individual cannot sit on the Board again.
The Code Of Corporate Governance For The Telecommunications Industry 2016 also specified the number of Board of Directors for each Company, Chairman, CEO and other top management staff and their functions as well as responsibilities in line with global best practice.
Other parts of the code also include remuneration for Board members and none Executive Directors, appointment of Company Secretaries, Code of Ethics for Board Members, Decision making mechanisms etc.
Furthermore, it also specified roles of Shareholders as well as stakeholders in the companies.
Other sections of the code include the establishment of establishment of a Risk Management and Internal Control department.
The companies are also expected to put a whistleblowing machanism in place to aid the easy reporting of unethical behaviors and illegal practices by its staff.
CKN News learnt that the new code is not totally new in Nigeria, it has been in operation in the Banking Sector for years and its only being extended to the Telecommunication Industry.
Appropriate sanctions are expected to be meted to defaulting companies as specified by the code.
By this new development several Directors of telecommunication companies who have exceeded the number of years specified by the code will have no other option to resign.
Some of those that may be affected by the new code are Dr Mike Adenuga , Chairman of Globacom and Chief Paschal Dozie who has been the Chairman of MTN Nigeria for years amongst others.
Pictures :CKN News Exclusive Pictures from the Event
Speech Of NCC EVC At The Event
Speech Of NCC EVC At The Event
SUSTAINING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AS LEVERAGE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION ECONOMY.
BEING PAPER PRESENTED BY PROF. UMAR G. DANBATTA, FNSE, THE EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (NCC) AT THE SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON THE CODE FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE HOSTED BY THE COMMISSION AT THE RENAISSANCE HOTEL ISAAC JOHN STREET IKEJA ON TUESDAY 15TH AUGUST 2017
Good Morning everyone. It is my pleasure to also welcome you on behalf of the Commission to this workshop to have further conversation on a subject matter which we at the commission and indeed the industry consider critical and germane to the continuing success and growth of our industry which in the last sixteen years or thereabout has performed creditably relative to other sectors in our economy. Much as we are proud of the successes recorded in that period we are not enamored to rest on our oars but rather are energized to push harder for even greater performance as the world economy pivots to one where Telecommunications and indeed ICT becomes the major driver of growth in every sector, hence I have deliberately chosen to speak to us on the issue 'Sustaining The Telecommunications Industry as a Leverage for the Next Generation Economy'.
Before delving into the compelling need to not only sustain the impact but indeed to reeve up the momentum, it may be necessary to present some statistics to underscore the focus on this subject.
The sector continues to contribute incrementally to the GDP of the nation which currently stands at 9.8% notwithstanding the impact of recession on investment flows. That is against 8.5% in 2015 and less than 1. 00% in 2001. Factoring in direct and indirect investment in the Telecoms sector over the last sixteen years, It has pulled in investment of over $68B and when the GDP impact of these local and FDI are factored in, the contribution of the sector would even be higher than stated.
The sector has been showing sterling performance due to the quality of regulatory oversight provided by the Commission. The code of Corporate governance for the Telecommunications Industry was developed to raise the standard of leadership and management in the sector to sustain the sector's leadership role as drivers of the overall growth of the national economy.
Sustaining improvement in standards of international best practices will ensure that the sector is strongly positioned to play the facilitator or enabler role which it has come to represent in the contemporary world economic ecosystem. As technology trends emerge to disrupt traditional economic order the sector must leverage strength to provide the backbone needed to ride the storm of the disruption on that evolution.
All sectors of every national economy have become dependencies on Telecommunications and ICT, and failure in the sector would have far reaching negative ramifications and thus the onus is on the sector to build capacity to lead effectively.
In the last sixteen years of the Telecoms revolutions, many operators have fallen by the way side, largely owing to internal management issues than from technical challenges. As we migrate more towards knowledge economy and higher level economy Infrastructure dependency on internet and ICT support services it would no longer be desirable for such collapses to occur hence the need to sensitize operators on those observed poor corporate governance practices which had contributed to failures in the past.
We have as an industry developed this code of corporate governance which has since late 2016 become mandatory with a regime of compliance level monitoring instituted, and an enforcement framework developed. This sensitization workshop is part of Commission's standard consultative approach aimed at securing wholesome industry buy-in.
We are already in the era of internet of Things where every sector will depend on telecoms and IT infrastructure to maximally operate.
The full impact of the expected collaborative partnership of the Industry operators through buy-in of the governance principles espoused in the code will simultaneously enhance four elements of my eight point agenda in the following areas:
Promotion of ICT Innovation and Investment, as the sector becomes more investment attractive;
Facilitation of Strategic Collaboration and partnership, as there will be greater synergy in the sector which will build trust and lead to greater opportunity for self-regulation;
Promotion of Fair Competition and Inclusive Growth, enhancing sustainability; and
Regulatory Excellence and Operational Efficiency, putting the industry in a leading position to pull the Country in the economic growth direction it is presently being redirected.
We are at the threshold of the next Telecoms revolution in Nigeria and we must position to avoid the consequent disruption that will follow accompany it.
The strategic objective being to entrench the Code as operational baseline from which entities can aspire to higher performance standards.
Thank you for your attention and let us have good conversation on the subject matter. Again welcome.
Prof. U. G. Danbatta
August 15, 2017