By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria, says that effective risk management and corporate governance foster economic growth, stability and engenders national value creation.
According to the institute, effective risk management and corporate governance extend goes individual companies; they have a profound impact on the economic stability and growth of a nation.
Musediq Abdul, President, Executive Management and professional Centre, Toronto, Canada, said this through via a virtual address, at the 2023 Annual Risk Professionals International Conference in Abuja on Sunday.
The conference, with the theme “Risk Management Compliance, Corporate Governance and National Value Creation”, has in attendance over 250 risks professionals from across Nigeria and beyond.
It was organised by the Chartered Institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria.
Speaking at the conference, Abdul said corporate governance forms the bedrock of ethical business operations, adding that this encompasses the principles and practices that guide how a company is managed and controlled.
“Effective corporate governance is intrinsically linked to risk management, as it establishes the structures and processes necessary to identify, assess, and mitigate risks.
He said risk management compliance is a fundamental aspect of responsible business operations.
It is a critical component of sustainable and ethical practices in the corporate world.
“Compliance ensures that organisations operate within the boundaries of regulatory and industry standards, which safeguards organisation’s reputation.
He enumerated some global risks for businesses to include global inflation, US-China economic competition, resurgent of COVID-19 waves, grains supply chain difficulties occasioned by the Russian/Ukraine war among others.
The risk expert said all these had in one way or the other adversely affected some businesses.
“When risks, especially in businesses, were not properly managed by engaging professionals in the field, this could lead to poor reputation for the organisation and therefor the loss of investors or customer confidence.
According to him, this is a reputational risk management which can lead to folding up of businesses because of lack of patronage, thereby negatively impacting on economy.
He further said that corporate governance and risk management as well as national value creation bring about economic stability, regulatory framework enhancement and investor confidence.
Abdul added that it also promotes innovation and entrepreneurship which encourage businesses to take calculated risks fostering growth.
Strong leadership is critical to ensuring organisational resilience and the role of risk professionals in fostering economic growth and stability is significant and multifaceted.
He therefore urged government to engage professional risk managers who have the skills and knowledge to build resilient and viable national economy.
In her welcome address, Dr Harriet Akubuiro, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institute, said the institution wants citizens to be conscious of the existence of risks in everyday life.
“There are risks in every area of life; risk management is tied to everything you want to do; it’s not like other professions where risk management is always a click away from every information you need to stay ahead.
“Nigerians make good policies without making risk management strategies; we need risk management compliance in Nigeria, we need proper corporate governance.
“The scope of corporate governance is expanding everyday and we need national value creation.
Every part of the theme is important as risk management is emerging and expanding internationally.
“It is our desire that Nigerians will begin to appreciate the existence of risks in everything they do so much so that they do not start running helter skelter when they face challenges.
“Everybody in Nigeria makes beautiful policies but they are not backed by risk management strategies and that is the story we are telling and we want you to join to tell it.
Even the housewife needs to learn about risks management.
Akubuiro said everybody could be a member of the association as it is all encompassing because everybody needs to learn the existence of risk and how to manage it.
She said some of the areas that should be studied that previously had not been talked about, were optimising risk management with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology, Environmental, Social and Governance Risk Management, among others.
According to her the conference theme was broad and touches risk management issues in government, governance and the corporate world, calling on all participants to fully participant.
She revealed that the institute had collaborated with the Rivers State University to run a post-graduate programme in risk management with courses such as Oil and Gas risk management.
Also, it will be critical for ICT and Cyber Risk Management, Human Resource Risk Management, engineering Risk Management, among others.
She therefore urged all participants to go and take up courses to sharpen their skills as programmes are also run online.
She added that the institute was making sure that it moved with the trend of events in the global space with more collaborations locally and internationally.
Quoting a former President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, she said “The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Akubuiro therefore urged citizens to avail themselves of the knowledge that could be gained in the institute and called on government to engage risk management professionals while drawing policies.
Participants were optimistic that the field was a critical sector that should get government attention because of its impact on businesses that are the live wire of any economy.
The conference featured panel and round-table discussions with sub-themes of Risk Management, Panacea to Corporate Unpredictability.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the institute which was established over two decades ago to fill the void in the specialist professional discipline of risk management practice in Nigeria, has over 100,000 members globally with 30 state chapters in Nigeria.
===========Edited by Vincent Obi