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Experts advocate inclusion, diversity in boardroom

The Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria has called for wider inclusion and diversity in the workplace to achieve effective corporate governance across the country.

Speaking at the society’s 2022 Annual Conference, experts submitted that Inclusion and diversity would help achieve the pursuit of the wider adoption of good corporate governance in Nigeria and beyond.

The experts who included corporate governance enthusiasts and regulators, spoke on the theme “Digital, Diversity, and Inclusion: Evolving Trends in Governance and Board Culture”, according to a statement by SCGN on Monday.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of SCGN, Mrs Chioma Mordi, said the society has been consistent in its bid to promote corporate governance in Nigeria and also in different sectors across the globe.

The CEO further noted that the discussion on growing trends, such as board diversity, inclusion, ESG, sustainability, digitalization and cyber security, are indications that boards need to evolve and embrace new thinking, and practises to ensure effectiveness as well as business resilience.

She added that the theme of the conference was part of the society’s deliberate effort to encourage diversity and inclusive membership.

On his part, the President of the SCGN, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, OON, reiterated the society’s position on the need to have diversity and inclusive culture.

“We should be in a position to continue to re-emphasize on the need to have diversity and to fight pipeline problems,” he said.

Also, the keynote speaker and Board Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Femi Lijadu; the guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer of Puma Energy International, Dr. Emma Fitzgerald, highlighted the importance of discussions on promoting corporate governance.

According to them, good corporate governance is a key tool for attracting investments needed to improve the country’s economy.

Fitzgerald also reiterated the need to avoid stereotypes in the selection of board members, in a bid to establish a board with diverse talents who can make valuable contributions.

Extending the discussion to digital assets and the role of regulators, Lijadu emphasized the cooperation amongst stakeholders and the recognition of these assets by the SEC.

Meanwhile, the SCGN also presented its publications: “Corporate Governance & Sustainability Reporting: A Review of the Top 30 Most Capitalized Companies on the NGX”; and “Board Committee Effectiveness: A Guide for Directors”.

The presentation was done by the Director of the SCGN, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, who also reiterated the importance of the conference theme, adding that the idea of diversity and inclusion was also a focal point of the publication on Corporate Governance & Sustainability Reporting.

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