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The A-Z of corporate governance

Title: Corporate Governance – An Emerging

         Economy Perspective

Author: Grant Onokurefe Akata

Publisher: University Press Plc, Three Crowns Building, Jerico, Ibadan

Year: 2014

pagination: 316

Corporate culture in every corporate setting drives the behaviour of its players, as culture engrains the inescapable norms of fairness, transparency, accountability and ethical behaviours. The absence of these presents subsisting rules and codes as external impositions to the organisation’s stakeholders and this often result in lack-lustre adherence and or total resistance to such rules and codes. This undermines proper growth and development of the enterprise.

The book, Corporate Governance-An Emerging Economy Perspective, attempts at responding to the growing dynamism of corporate governance. In its crisp, incisive, straight-to-the heart of the matter approach, this detailed, broad-based and comprehensive discourse of the critical and all relevant subject of corporate governance in Nigeria is, indeed, an epitome of erudition, industry and lucidity. Its depth of discourse has drawn on recent codes with copious illustrations taken from different sectors but heavily from the oil and gas industry.

A Nigerian manual with a rich international flare, truly domesticates corporate governance practice. Easy to read, with lots of comparative examples of legislations and codes from other climes, like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Malaysia, the BRICS, among others, it is a comprehensive reference book. The author admirably examines the theory and practice of corporate governance in Nigeria and concluded that whereas there is no paucity of legislations and regulations, the phenomenon of impunity has given rise to weak compliance, enforcement and depreciated the unabating corruption in our corporate and national life. He proffered suggestions on how to stem impunity and corruption – the bane of corporate governance in our environment.

The opening chapter of the book, by way of introduction, defines the subject in a most understandable manner to practitioners, students and laypersons. While laying out structures that support the subject matter and its relevance to Nigeria, it decisively dealt with corporate governance as opposed to corporate management as well as numerous theories that has been postulated on the subject.

Delving into the historical evolution of the discipline in Nigeria, the author captures the role of regulatory authorities in trying to define the structure and rules of corporate governance practice in Nigeria. His comparism of practice in Nigeria with several other emerging economies leaves one to wonder how long it will take Nigeria to clean its stable to join the League of Nations with good business and ethical practices to anchor a developed economy.

Chapters 4 – 7 has in-depth discourse on Boards of Directors – composition/ structures, duties, responsibilities, limitations and other key players, their operational processes – through committees and relationships amongst themselves and between them and other stakeholders in the governance of businesses. The attention given to legal duties/liabilities of directors, interplay of stakeholders and markets in relation to the internal workings of the board re-echoes the cardinal role directors play in Corporate Governance.

Discussing risk management, audit, ethics, and leadership development as important influencing factors of corporate success, he elevates the need for transparency, accountability and integrity in the governance of businesses. The abuse of the foregoing lays bare certain missteps that account for failures of enterprises and their boards in both the public and private sectors in Nigeria and globally.

With brief discourse of corporate governance in other sectors- private companies, the informal sector and not for profit organisations, the author canvasses that the existence of regulations and codes which majority of business leaders in publicly quoted companies strive to comply with, provides important guide for these other sectors and any medium to large size company aspiring to survive and grow sustainably beyond its founder through generations must necessarily adhere to the regime of controls which publicly quoted companies are governed with.

The author, Dr. Grant Akata ,held management and senior management positions in human resources and general management for over three decades in Manufacturing, Banking and Oil & Gas, concluding his formal employment career as a Managing Director NSML, a subsidiary of Nigeria LNG Limited. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria and a Member, Institute of Directors and currently doubles as Managing Partner of Govak Consult and Secretary-General of Shipowners Association of Nigeria, SOAN.

Reviewer: Patrick Imo



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