The corporate governance code enacted by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria was not ratified by the National Assembly which empowered the agency to set regulatory guidelines for commercial entities and not-for-profit organisations.
This was the position of the House of Representatives arising from a motion of urgent public importance debated yesterday.
Not seeking legislative approval for the code as it relates to heads of Not-for-Profit organisations has resulted in its misapplication resulting in what can be deemed as a national embarrassment, the lawmakers said.
Ousted boss of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, came under fire for enforcing the code which stipulated maximum 20 year tenure for heads of Not-for-Profit organisations, under which religious bodies are categorised.
The controversial code might have led to the resignation of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye, as head of the church last weekend.
The House, in adopting the prayers of the motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, also directed its Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate the activities of FRC and thoroughly examine its regulations.
Ogor argued that the governance code formulated by the council as relates to the heads of not-for-profit organisations, usurps the powers of the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution.
“The National Assembly has not in any way approved the corporate governance code as it did with the building code,” he said.
Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (Delta PDP) backed Ogor’s arguments.
“Every delegated legislation done by any agency must be forwarded to the N’Assembly for ratification. This was not done in this instance,” he said.
Ossai further argued that tenureship of religious bodies is determined by God, and should not be interfered with, by the government.
Hon. Istifanus Gyang (Plateau PDP) harped on the need for more oversight of agencies, particularly those with powers of delegated legislation.
“Whenever we are making laws for these agencies, we must ensure we do not endow them with utmost powers, such that they do not start making regulations that infringe on the constitution,” Gyang said.
In another development, the House has scheduled for debate, the proposed closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja from March 8, 2017 for rehabilitation of the runway by the aviation ministry.
The Senate already opposed the move.
The matter was mentioned as a matter of urgent public importance by Hon. Funke Adedoyin (Kwara APC).
In line with House Rules, it would be debated on the next legislative day, today.