Olowo: New Dawn In Financial Reporting In Nigeria

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Soon after the appointment of Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo , the global award winner, Immediate past commissioner for Finance, Lagos state as the new Executive Secretary, Chief Executive officer CEO, Financial Reporting Council FRC, it was the beginning of not only the end of business as usual given his exposure, experiences and unique achievements that had promoted not only the revenue profile of Lagos state, but corporate/ financial governance and regulations in line with the global requirements.

Having jerked up beyond 400% the revenue profile of Lagos state between 2019 – 2023 , from a low ebb of 20B to over 100B , he had proved his mettle in joining not only the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but the transformation agenda desiring of the over one decade agency that leave much to be desired.

Worried by the dearth of corporate governance, both in the public and private entities as well as code of not- for profit organization and the glaring manipulation and fictitious bandying of figures presented as financial statements from the sectors, his appointment became a glaring coincidence to turn around the agency into a new leave, taken cognisance of his proactive agenda in the Financial Reporting Council FRC, with a view to ensuring the presentation of accurate and globally acceptable financial statements, that will attract investments and investors towards delivering on its mandate in line with the act setting it up known as (FRC act 2011), as amended.

Appointed in October, 2023 three months down the line, Olowo has hit the ground running not only in revenue generation profile of the agency that was overlooked, but code of conducts, terms limits for not -for profit- organizations, and the introduction of technology into its activities in the 21st century, away from the analogue process been applied by the previous management.

With the use of technology, according to the Executive Secretary, Filings, Analysis of Financial Statements, Corporate Governance Reports, Online Reporting, and Accurate Submission of Financial Statements, including non -submission and manipulations that was hitherto the other of the day , will not only be totally eradicated, but tailored in line with the global requirements.

With the automation of it’s service under way in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, effective and efficient service delivery with highly qualified personel, professionals will be not be lacking.

In line with it’s mandate and (Digital Repository Platform), by it’s act (FRC act 2011) as amended, it has introduced the Digitisation, Operation, Excellence, Stakeholders Engagements and Enforcement (DOSE) as a new code of conduct under the Renewed Hope Agenda.

This positive development will allow an unfettered access and introduction to public governance code 2024, not- for profit organization 2024, and also to review corporate reports, inspection and monitoring, deploying modern gadgets that will reduce wholly human interferences.

It planned to build capacity, engagements of staffs/ skills and professionals inline with the global practices, requirements with cognisance to sister regulators globally i.e. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

The repostioning of the council to ensure a virile roadmap to sustainable reporting scheduled to begin in the first quarter in 2024 is unwavering, with the support of stakeholders , that had fell short of high standards required of FRC 2011.

This will include the full fledged and ready to deliver organization with it’s full complement of departments, to ensure maximum compliance to financial statements, investors reliance on financial statements, information, that is firm , fair on the mandate, restore stakeholders confidence, in corporate reports and governance, that was shrouded in fictitious and bereft of standard public and private sector provisions, against the (FRC act, 2011) as amended .

Already , the agency had commenced in earnest the process of sanctioning government agencies who have not only violated yearly presentation of financial statements as at when due in line with FRC act, but engaged in series of misdemeanors, using NIMASA as an example, determined to trickle down subsequently having penalized the agency for 500M.

It also uncovered lack of transparency and accountability in many private and public service to the consternation of all Nigerians and against the lay down procedures.

With determination, Olowo had embarked on partnership with anti graft agencies beginning with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, to assist in discouraging multiple financial statements been presented to the commission that was also rampant in the private entities among many others.

This is along with holding advocacies, talkshops, workshops, seminars and awareness with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, including the organised private sector to orient them on the new template of financial statements reporting devoid of duplication to meet the yearning and aspiration of organisations, but in accordance with (FRC act, 2011) as amended.

With renewed vigour and indepth experience garnered from both the private and public sector, no doubt the new FRC under the leadership of Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo as the Executive Secretary, Chief Executive officer CEO is birthed in the current dispensation and administration.

All hands must be on deck to support the laudable objectives of the internationally exposed and grounded public officer, technocrat to deliver on the mandate of the new FRC.

Written by ABUBAKAR YUSUF, A Public Affairs Analyst on [email protected].

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