The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and Nigeria Exchange Group Regulation Limited (NGX Reg Co) launched the two ISSB Sustainability Disclosure Standards, IFRS S1 & S2 on Monday June 26, 2023. The landmark event, which was held at the Nigerian Exchange Group House in Lagos, was one of the many events hosted simultaneously to celebrate the launch by Stock Exchanges around the world including Frankfurt, Montreal, London, Santiago de Chile, and Singapore. Nigeria is the only country in Africa selected to co-launch same day globally.
The Executive Secretary/CEO of FRC Nigeria, Ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed stated that the landmark event is a demonstration of Nigeria’s commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices. He remarked that Nigeria’s adoption of the Sustainability Standards reaffirms its position as a choice destination for sustainable businesses and destination for international capital flows (a position the ES/CEO put out clearly at the just concluded summit for New Global Financing Pact, in France, earlier in June)
According to FRC ES, “Today, there is a growing global, environmental, social and governance investor base of over $2 trillion in global institutional investor funds under management. No country or institution can attract this private investment capital if you are not seen to be committed to climate and sustainable development. Nigeria must therefore compete with the rest of the world for this private capital”.
Also at the event, the CEO of NGX RegCo, Ms Tinuade Awe, said that the launch is tremendous for the growth of the capital market as companies in Nigeria now joins a global baseline for reporting sustainability.
Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, ISSB Board Member, took the history lane, recalling how the ISSB was born at COP 26 as a sister entity to the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) while noting that the standards would help Nigerian firms inculcate sustainability practices in their operations and enable them report on this. According to her, “There are close to 300 different standards and what we have done is create a single global baseline that is interoperable with standards such as GRI and reduce the cost of reporting burden,”
The event was also graced by the Group Managing Director/CEO of the NGX Group, Mr. Oscar Onyema; the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC, Mr. Dayo Obisan. According to the SEC, DG, “This sends a strong message to the global community that Nigeria is committed to transparent and responsible business practices that prioritize environmental stewardship, social well-being as well as good governance”.
The Chair, ISSB, Mr. Emmanuel Faber in his goodwill message, said that “the lack of comparability and ambiguity about the many available standards and frameworks have limited the effectiveness of reporting and the efficiency of capital markets. This challenge is expected to be solved by adoption of a truly global ISSB sustainability reporting standards”. Faber further stated that the standards are cost-effective for reporters and useful for investors and added that organizations that use IFRS 1 and 2 as a tool to communicate to investors will win a financing competitive advantage.
One of the key highlights of the event was the ringing of the closing gong by the ES/CEO of FRC, Amb. Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed to commemorate the ISSB Standards Launch.