Nigeria ranked 127th on global competitive index

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By Emeka Aginam
LAGOS — The World Economic Forum has ranked Nigeria 127 of 139 countries on the 2010 and 2011 Global Competitive Index even as Ghana was ranked 114.

Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC,  Arunma Oteh, who disclosed this in a keynote address,  Tuesday , at the Audit Committee 2011 annual conference, said South Africa was ranked 54, Brazil, 58 while Malaysia was 26.

In the area of corporate governance, a major pillar of the index, the SEC director general said Nigeria was ranked 125, Ghana 66, South Africa 50, Brazil 94 and Malasia 42 in ethical behaviour of firms.

From the above index, Oteh said it was evident that corporate governance in the world today was a competitive tool.

She said: “It is a tool of true advantage to the investors, the firms and the nation at large. On the other hand, the financial crisis had also underscored the importance of developing a competitive economic environment, which is only achievable through entrenchment of corporate governance standards in our entities.

“This is more so, since investable funds only flow to countries where the funds are safe and well managed.  Besides, it is also a reputable and financial risk for most institutional investors to invest in companies that are not committed to corporate governance.”

“Audit committees hold the key to ensuring that corporate governance is entrenched in public companies. They should be empowered to function effectively to assume the required oversight role that is intended to protect investors and ensure corporate accountability.”

She said the conference was timely following the  passing into law of the Financial Reporting Council Bill and the launching of the revised Code of Corporate Governance by the SEC Nigeria.

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