Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday commended the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) for advancing the process of business registration and the introduction of modern techniques to meet global based standard while actualizing the vision of the Commission.
President Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga stated this while delivering the keynote address at the maiden Citizens’ Awards organized by the CAC in Abuja.
According to him, the Commission needs to be reminded that it is at the hub of Mr President’s transformation agenda of creating an enabling environment for business growth and attracting foreign direct investment.
Aganga who He expressed satisfaction at the criteria for the award, noted that the main purpose of the awards was to promote the culture of good statutory compliance in Nigeria by recognizing and honoring corporate citizens who have distinguished themselves in the conduct of their business and must have complied with all statutory requirements and best practices of corporate governance.
The minister said it was gratifying to note that the guiding principles for the award was to create a conducive environment, ensure greater efficiency, openness and transparency in business adding that the overall commitment was to change the focus in doing business in Nigeria with a view to stimulate the growth of Nigerian economy.
“I am particularly delighted that the corporate citizens’ awards started and materialized during my tenure as the Supervising minister of the Corporate Affairs Commission. At the Ministry of Trade and Investment, we have given the issue of conduct of business very serious attention with a view to creating the requisite environment for rapid economic growth and development,” he added.
Zenith Bank Plc alongside three other banks, a microfinance bank, insurance firm, Brewery company and an investment and security company were the nine indigenous companies that were honored at the maiden edition of the corporate citizen’s award held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.
In the awards categories, Stanbic IBTC Bank beats other banks to emerge ‘Most Extensive Compliance,’ Access Bank and Zenith Bank were awarded ‘More Extensive Compliance Category’ while United Bank for Africa (UBA), ASHA Microfinance Bank limited and LAFARGE Africa Plc were awarded ‘Extensive Compliance Category.
Others are Leadway Assurance Limited, and Nigerian Breweries Plc, were also awarded ‘Above Basic Compliance Category’. The Basic Compliance Category went to Yobe Investment and Securities Ltd.
The Chairman, Corporate Affairs Commission, Otunba Funso Lawal CON described the award as an initiative of the commission’s board of directors which started in 2013 but could not hold that year due to certain challenges which has long been addressed.
Aaccording to Lawal, the aim of the award is to reposition the corporate affairs commission for global reckoning as a modern business registry, rebrand it to a world-class standard and make more customers friendly through best practices, reflecting good reputation and positive public perception.
Otunba Lawal stressed that the award was aimed at promoting the culture of statutory compliance in the Nigeria business environment by recognizing corporate citizens who have conducted their affairs in compliance with statutory requirements and best practices with a credible business environment sanitizing business practices, checking malpractices, attract investors and boost economy.
“This commitment to corporate rebranding is to ensure a more modern image not only to reposition the commission but also to further internationalize and address conflicts in service culture and corporate identity with a view to creating a positive image in the minds of different public such as customers, investors and employees.
The award is to recognize performance and reward corporate excellence in all sectors of the Nigeria economy also to celebrate achievement in business and entrepreneurship as well as stimulate economic objectives thereby improving Nigeria’s rating in the global competitive index of doing business and to facilitate the domestic economy and its integration into the global market,” he stated.
Deputy General Manager of Zenith Bank, Mr Lanre Ishola who received the award on behalf of his Bank dedicated the award to the management and staff of the bank attributing it to efficiency, hard work and commitment which has been the vision of the bank.