The contentious Corporate Governance Code issued on October 17 by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria that caused the abrupt retirement of Pastor Enoch Adeboye as Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) General Overseer has been suspended.
FRC, which is one of the parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, is in charge of setting and promoting compliance with standards for accounting, financial reporting and auditing in Nigeria. It also regulates the practices of professionals involved in financial reporting and promotes good practices in financial reporting and corporate governance in Nigeria.
The body which guides all registered churches, mosques, and CSOs had in a new legal requirements stipulated that heads of non-profit organisations like churches, will only have a maximum period of twenty years to lead their organisations while in retirement, they are not permitted to hand over to their families.
Following this regulation Pastor Adeboye on Saturday abruptly announced his retirement as RCCG Nigerian chapter General Overseer.
However, the Federal Government on Monday in a statement by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, suspended the Corporate Governance Code.
The statement said that “The Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria has been suspended, pending a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board of the FRC.
“Government remains committed to restoring and enhancing market confidence and improving the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
“Government is committed to strengthening FRC and enhancing its capacity to fulfill its core mandate,” the statement reads in parts.
With the latest development, the coast is clear for Pastor Adeboye to return as the Nigerian overseer of the church if he and the church council so desires.
The rumble within FRC which eventually consumed its Secretary, Board and saw to the suspension of the corporate governance code has been linked to the alleged refusal of its former Secretary, Jim Obazee, to heed directives from Minister Enelama to put its implementation in abeyance.
Obazee reportedly shunned directives because he had argued that there was no superior law yet gazetted to upturn government’s earlier stance on the corporate governance code, especially as it concerns churches or other not-for-profit organizations (NGOs).
Sources familiar with the development, however, say that government’s move was deliberate and intended to court the church which is seen as a critical and influential community in the country.
It would have amounted to political suicide, analysts say, if the government did not retrace its steps as there had been immediate but quiet grumblimgs within the ranks of the Pentecostal movement in Nigeria.
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