NGX Regulation Limited has restated its commitment to promoting a fair, transparent, and orderly Nigerian capital market at the 2021 Issuers’ Engagement Forum with the theme: ‘Corporate Disclosures – Beyond Numbers’.
Speaking at the conference, the Chief Executive Officer, NGX RegCo, Ms. Tinuade Awe stated, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much visible across the global economy. Whilst many businesses are either closed or waiting for the economy to open up, others have weathered through the storm created by the pandemic, leveraging on their continuity plans built on sustainable business models. The theme of this year’s forum is aptly couched to reflect the realities of our today’s world. With the increasing levels of shareholders’ activism and greater levels of scrutiny on financial performance, the qualitative aspect of information disclosure is becoming more imperative for businesses as much as the quantitative form of information.”
It would be recalled that NGX released its Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines in December 2018. The Guidelines provide the value proposition for sustainability as well as a step-by-step approach on integrating sustainability in organisations, and detail indicators that should be considered when providing annual disclosure to NGX. The Securities and Exchange Commission also recently introduced its Guidelines for Sustainable Financial Principles for the Nigerian Capital Market in April 2021. These and other efforts by the government, market regulators and policy makers in the sustainability space point to the increasing importance of sustainability reporting in the context of enhanced corporate disclosures.
The event also featured a Keynote Address from Professor Kenneth Amaeshi, Visiting Professor of Leadership & Financial Markets in Africa & London, School of Economics & Political Science. There was also be a panel session featuring Dr. Innocent Okwusa, Visiting Associate Professor, Caleb University & 1st DVP, ICAN; Professor Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting, Durham University Business School; Ms. Eunice Sampson, Director, Climate Change and Sustainability West Africa, Ernst & Young; Mr. Elan Theebom, ESG Specialist, Arise; with Mr. Olumide Lala, Co-Founder and Director, Climate Transition Limited serving as panel moderator.
Engagement such as this are particularly important because the capital market is information driven. NGX RegCo, therefore, continues to encourage Issuers to show transparency in their business activities through timely disclosure of price sensitive information to the market to prevent information asymmetry. Furthermore, the Regulation company has expressed its commitment to working with Issuers to guide them through complying with Nigerian Exchange Limited’s (NGX) post listing obligations as well as other regulatory requirements for public listed companies, particularly with regards to upholding good governance practices that thrive on accountability and enhanced information disclosure.