Lagos – The Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) will be launched in May.

Mr. Soji Apampa, the Executive Director of CBI, disclosed this in Lagos at a breakfast meeting organised by NSE and CBI on corporate governance for quoted companies. Apampa said that the CGRS index was aimed at ensuring corporate governance among listed companies on the stock market.

He said that the initiative would boost the nation’s foreign investment inflow due to listed companies’ adherence to corporate governance principles.

Apampa said the initiative, to be funded by Siemens Integrity Fund, would improve companies’ rating standards.

He said that the failure of corporate governance in banks and the challenges in business development contributed to the capital market crash in 2008.

Apampa said that the nation’s sovereign credit rating was below investment grade due to weak institutions, slow reforms and corruption.

Mr. Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Director, said that sound corporate governance practices would boost stakeholders’ trust in quoted companies.

Onyema, who was represented by Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, the Executive Director, Business Development, said that the programme would encourage companies to do business in a sustainable manner.

Onyema said the partnership with the CBi was to create a corporate governance rating system and index for companies that would meet certain thresholds within that ranking.

“The objectives are to raise overall corporate governance standards in the country by providing companies with an incentive to develop global best practices.

“It will provide opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves in the market place,” he said.

Onyema said that the initiative would boost prospects of quoted companies for cross-border listing in target markets.

According to him, listed companies will become more competitive as corporate governance is a strong competitive tool.

Source: The Nigerian Observer