The Nigerian Integrated Reporting Committee (NIRC) has called for better company accounts for foreign and Nigerian investors.
The chairman of the committee, Innocent Okwuosa, made the call during the committee’s recent programme organised to respond to International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and its framework’s consultation.
Okwuosa stated that a better company accounts report does not only address financial performance but also addresses social and environmental performance which speaks directly to company’s sustainability and should be embraced by listed companies in Nigeria.
Okwuosa disclosed that integrated reporting has been made mandatory by Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and every company listed on the JSE is expected to produce an annual report in form of integrated report. He said that this singular action of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has placed South Africa among countries with the best corporate annual reports. He, therefore, called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to follow the footsteps of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
According to him, it is generally agreed that investors invest in companies where their accounts are perceived more transparent since such transparency helps bridge information asymmetry in the capital market.
When questioned on the sufficiency of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adopted by Nigeria to attract foreign investors, Okwuosa noted that the adoption of IFRS is in the right direction but more needed to be done, pointing out that South Africa even adopted IFRS before Nigeria but, in addition, progressed to integrated reporting.
The establishment of the Nigerian Integrated Reporting Committee was carried out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in 2018. It was formed to advocate for the adoption of integrated reporting in Nigeria, aimed at attracting foreign direct investment and strengthening the capital market.
As a multi-stakeholder organisation, NIRC has a staunch membership base that includes: Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN); the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN); the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC); the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM); the Pension Commission (PenCom); the Ministry of Finance; the Auditor General Office; and the private sector advisory group on sustainable development goals, among others.