Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has called for a partial privatisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Moghalu made this submission in his keynote address at the 2017 Annual Directors’ Conference of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria (IOD) on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is “Implementing Best Corporate Governance Practice in Nigeria’s Public and Private Sectors.’’
Moghalu said the failure of corporate governance to take off in Nigeria’s public sector was part of Nigeria’s longstanding and continuing crisis.
He said the public sector corporate governance in Nigeria was faced with several challenges such as culture of patronage, political interference and double standard in stakeholder-shareholder accountability.
“Nigerian stakeholders who are shareholders of a commercial company will demand accountability and performance if those attributes are perceived to be absent.
“But, they will not be as exercised by the failure of public corporations because they believe, along with partisan politicians, that these institutions exist to serve vested patronage interests rather than the public interest.
“Examples include the evident and massive failures of corporate governance in big public establishments. The National Assembly should amend the structure of public corporations such as the NNPC.
“The necessary two actions are to partially privatise NNPC and bring in companies and individuals to invest in them and improve accountability.Second, the powers of the Petroleum Minister need to be reduced,’’ he said.
He said the corporate governance in CBN needed to be improved also and regretted that the apex bank had been operating without a board for the past two years, adding that the apex bank was operating without a board in contravention of the Act establishing it.
Earlier in his opening address, IOD’s President, Alhaji Ahmed Rufai, said the objective of the conference was to create a conducive environment for members to meet their counterparts across the country.
He said the conference would address contemporary advocacy issues affecting the nation through technical sessions.
“The choice of this important theme has been carefully made in recognition of the challenges our policy makers both in government and in private sector continue to face in implementing the basic tenets of corporate governance.
“There are many examples of this challenge. Take, for instance, the subject of ethical values. It is common knowledge that the eradication of corruption has been a major challenge in almost all sectors of our economy.
“In spite of the numerous efforts and attempts to tackle the issue of corruption, it seems to be spreading even more.
“There is hardly anywhere one goes these days without encountering the demand for money for one service or the other whether it is in the public service setting or even in a private organization,’’ he said.
In his remark, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, who was the Special Guest of Honour, said the leadership of any organisation was critical to the success of such organisation.
He said leadership issues contributed to the failure of Nigerian institutions despite having individuals who could compete with anyone in any other part of the world.
IOD caters and speaks for directors in the private sector in their individual capacities across the various sectors of the economy.