SOAN Scribe’s Book May Become Frcn’s Building Block- Sulaiman

From R - L: FRCN Chairman, Adedotun Sulaiman, SOAN President, Engr Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun, Ibeneche, Book Reviewer, Dr Nat Ofo and the Author, Grant Akata, during the public presentation of the book, Corporate Governance at the Golden Gate Hotel, Ikoyi Lagos on Thursday.
  • As SOAN lauds NIMASA on AAMA’s goals

A book, Corporate Governance, written by the General Secretary, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr Grant Akata may soon emerge as one corner stone, in the building of an enduring business ethics, by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN).

The FRCN Chairman, Adedotun Sulaiman indicated this last Thursday, while presiding over the public presentation of the book, at the Golden Gate Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun (Right), the author, Dr. Grant Akata, Special Guest, Ibeneche, and the book reviewer, Igbinedion University Senior Law lecturer, Dr Nat Ofo, stood for a snapshot, during the public presentation of the book, Corporate Governance at the Golden Gate Hotel, Ikoyi Lagos, Thursday.

The FRCN Boss said he was particularly impressed by the content, as it conscientiously strived, not only to identify and promote rudiments of sound business ethics, but also, consciously avoided conflicts, controversies and hindrances that could antagonize business development, which is a key focus of the FRCN.

Sulaiman made his observation, just as the SOAN’S President, Engr Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun praised Grant Akata, for his determination to promote awareness for good governance and sound leadership, through the authorship of the book.

“Part of the problems we have in Nigeria today, is because of the poor cooperate governance culture, particularly in the parastatals and government agencies; because there was insufficient attention, beamed on them. And part of the reasons behind that might have been because of capacity; for capacity at the FRCN, being a new body is relatively weak. So one of the things we have to do is build up capacity”, indicated Adedotun Sulaiman, noting that the Council works like Dr. Akata’s book was in the right direction.

The author, Dr. Grant Akata (left) exchange ideas on further areas of collaboration with the Chairman, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Adedotun Sulaiman, shortly after the public presentation of the book, Corporate Governance at the Golden Gate Hotel, Ikoyi Lagos, Thursday.

“But, like I said earlier, we are still at the rudimentary stage, more than anything, a lot of people are handicapped due to ignorance. A lot of which is also due to counter-culture because, some will rather they hold things, rather than want to share it.

“Cooperate culture promotes a notion of collective ownership where some will come together, pool their resources together and because you are working with the resources of so many people, entrusted to you, the management rule is to protect the resources entrusted to you and that is the way business runs over (abroad) there.

“But in Nigeria, businesses are owned 100 percent by their runners. So, we cannot separate the owners from the management and that also affect their performance as well. But no matter how smart you are, you cannot be smarter than ten or twelve people and that is where cooperate governance gets its strength and advantage. When you bring people together, you also bring diverse background and wealth of experiences together; and so, the discussion is richer, the decisions are more robust and the concluding decisions are better.
“I guess the immediate challenge is to change the direction of the FRCN and make it less controversial and less antagonistic to business. We just have to let it do its work quietly, and make sure it performs its statutory roles and perform its role without all the controversies that have surrounded it”, he stated, noting that the book digs deeply also, on consultation.

The Chairman, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Adedotun Sulaiman (left) banters with the book reviewer, Dr. Not Ofo, as the author, Dr. Grant Akata cheerfully goes through a file, shortly after the public presentation of the book, Corporate Governance at the Golden Gate Hotel, Ikoyi Lagos, Thursday.

“One thing that we have to change is that we must now, institute consultation. We must consult more, so that when we bring out a decision or whatever, it is not going to catch anybody by surprise. We must have taken everybody’s view point”,  he indicated, adding that the 23 member FRCN board was yet to be inaugurated.
“Part of the issues the last executive faced, was that it operated without a board for a long time, and so, that guidance, that moderating influence (from the board) was lacking”, the Council Boss stated further, pointing out that the immediate challenge before the FRCN, a hallowed body whose platform was dissolved after it’s leadership derailed, left promotion of businesses, for a controversial removal of the revered Redeemed Church General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is to make the FRCN less controversial.

In his own remark, the SOAN President, Engr Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun said going by the quality and content of the book Corporate Governance, written by Dr Grant Akata; and the testimony of the FRCN Chairman, Adedotun Sulaiman, Nigerians have every reason, not only to continue to rate SOAN high, but also to know that the body’s vision must be in the overall, best interest of the country.

But the Book reviewer, a Senior lecturer, Igbinedion University College of Law, Dr. Nat Ofo stressed that the strong point of the book is its ability to successfully marry the ‘town with the gown’ seamlessly, describing the gown as academic theories and the town as what obtains, practically in day to day life.

Dr. Ofo who said he was surprised that the book author tasked him to review the work, even though he had no any deep relationship with him, said he was happy that Dr.  Grant Akata paid premium attention to even the Minor, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME), even to the point of identifying leadership failure, even in business, to the bane of Corporate Governance.

“Corruption is a killer and any business where corruption is entrenched, will perpetually be in trouble; even when it makes money, it is only sliding down the hill”, Dr. Ofo explained, stressing that though he has over 500 books on the subject, Dr. Grant Akata’s Corporate Governance is a masterpiece, Uniquely written in fine, simple and easily understandable grammar, thereby ensuring total compression to the grassroot readers too.

Meanwhile, the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has given its support to Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to lead African maritime sector revival, for the economic benefit of the continent, following his recent election as the Chairman, of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA).

In a congratulatory message to the NIMASA DG by SOAN, signed by the President of the association, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, on Dakuku’s election as Chairman of AAMA at its 3rd conference, held in Abuja from April 19th – 21st 2017, the group stated that, his election to lead African Maritime Administrators did not come as a surprise, noting that since he assumed office, he has shown dexterity in ensuring a virile Nigerian maritime sector that can compete favourably in the comity of maritime nations.

“Your election did not come to us as a surprise, but a proof of your worth in the business of rejuvenating the maritime sector for optimum growth and prosperity of the Nigerian economy, anchored on efficient and profitable management of men and other resources”, the letter read.

While also urging Dakuku to bring his wealth of experience to bear in leading AAMA, SOAN pledged their continuous support to the developmental initiative of NIMASA towards repositioning the maritime sector for greater efficiency and performance.

This is also coming at the heels of the congratulatory message sent to the NIMASA DG by President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledging NIMASA’s encouraging performance in the fight against Sea Piracy through inter agency cooperation.

President Buhari also described the development as the continental body’s confidence in the country ; and a confirmation that Nigeria has the human capital required as a leading maritime nation, to positively impact on the continent.

AAMA was formed following the signing of the African Transport and Maritime Charter in 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring together all players in the African maritime sector.

The Association is an umbrella body of five African Maritime Stakeholders’ groups namely: Association of Maritime Administrations of Africa, Africa’s Ship Registry Forum, African Ship Owners Association as well as Africa Shippers’ Council and Seafarers’ Forum with the aim of promoting the development of Africa’s maritime regulatory and maritime environment

Dr. Dakuku Peterside was elected to lead the continental body as Chairman during the just concluded 3rd AAMA conference in Abuja, taking over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA) who held sway since 2013, for a one year reign.