Corporate governance code: Reps to debate controversy today

Corporate governance code: Reps to debate controversy today

The House of Representatives on Tuesday admitted a motion to debate the controversial Corporate Governance Code set by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, particularly as it relates to non-profit organisations.

Religious bodies like churches and mosques as well as civil society organisations are among such non-profit bodies.

The motion, coming under matters of urgent public importance, was admitted as members reconvened on Tuesday after the Christmas and New Year break.

The session was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

It was moved by the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, to be debated on Wednesday (today).

The controversial code, among others, sets a 20-year tenure for heads of religious groups and civil rights organisations.

Such leaders are required to hand over the affairs of the organisations they head to successors in line with the corporate governance principles.

The  General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Nigeria, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had resigned on Saturday named a successor, Pastor Joseph Obayemi as national overseer in Nigeria and took on the new title of General Overseer, RCCG, Worldwide.

The development was greeted with interpretations, including insinuations that the Federal Government was attempting to meddle in the affairs of religious bodies, using the FRC.

President Muhammadu Buhari  reacted on Monday by sacking the board and the Executive Secretary of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee.

While laying the substance of his motion on Tuesday, Ogor had told the House that the FRC went outside its mandate by interfering with the affairs of religious bodies.

“This development has become embarrassing, especially when the general impression is that the National Assembly passed the FRC Act,” he said.

Ogor noted that though the National Assembly passed the Act to empower the council to carry out its functions of regulation, the law did not say the council could interfere with the leadership of churches or mosques.

“What has happened is clearly the decision of the FRC and not the National Assembly.

“This has called for the urgent need to discuss it and save the country this needless embarrassment,” he added.

The House admitted the motion and put it on notice for debate on Wednesday (today).

A unanimous voice vote by members admitted the motion for debate.

Punch

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