The effects of the new codes of corporate governance issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) are beginning to manifest on Nigerian Churches although the council has said that Orthodox and Mosques have adjusted to the new policy while Pentecostal churches are still adamant.
FRC issued two of the codes on Monday 17 October after conclusion of works on it by the Steering Committee on Corporate Governance Codes that drafted it. The committee comprises of representatives of regulatory bodies in the country and others drafted to it.
The two codes, the private sector codes and the Not for Profit organisations were released after long a delay by litigations that stall its issuance and implementation. The third, the public sector codes await the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for it to come into effect.
For Non-Profit organisation such as religious bodies and others are now to prepare accounts for their businesses and submit to government agencies.
A quick checked into the 29-page document by Nigerian Bulletin on Section 9 of the Not-For-Profit Organisations Governance Code 2016 shows that;
1. The Founder or Leader of a NFPO occupies a special position in the Organisation and is committed to the success and longevity of the NFPO. Accordingly, a Founder or Leader should not take on too many responsibilities in the organisation or have an indefinite term in the running of the organisation.
2. Where for any reason, a Founder or Leader of NFPO also occupies any of the three governance positions of Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees, the Governing Board or Council, and the Headship of the Executive Management (or their governance equivalents), the following provisions shall apply before the end of the organization’s financial year in which this Code takes effect.
3. The Founder or Leader shall cease to occupy these three governance positions simultaneously. This is to ensure the separation of powers and avoid possible concentration of powers in one individual.
4. The Founder or Leader may however choose – subject to the agreement of the organization’s apex authority as expressed in the Annual General Assembly, Annual Meeting, Annual Stakeholder Engagement, Annual Conference, Annual Synod, Annual Fellowship Assembly or their equivalents – only one of these three governance positions subject to his current tenure. This is to ensure a clear division of responsibilities at the head of the organization between the running of the governing body and the executive responsibility for the management and fulfilment of the organization’s mission.
5. Where the Founder or Leader has occupied all or any of these three governance positions for more than twenty years, or is aged seventy years or above, the choice in section 9.2.2 above should only relate to the Board of Trustees as in section 9.4(c) below, except the constitution of the organisation otherwise provides.
6. In the case of religious or cultural organisations, nothing in this code is intended to change the spiritual leadership and responsibilities of Founders, General Overseers, Pastors, Imams and Muslim Clerics, Presidents, Bishops, Apostles, Prophets, etc. which are distinguishable from purely corporate governance and management responsibilities and accountabilities of the entities.