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IFC, SEC and Other Stakeholders Promote Greater Involvement of Women on Boards


In Lagos:
Ejura Audu
Phone: +234-803-494-6244
E-mail: eaudu@ifc.org


In Washington:
Loty Salazar
Phone: +1-202-458-2559
Email: lsalazar@worldbank.org

Lagos, Nigeria, March 9, 2017 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Institute of Directors’ Centre for Corporate Governance and Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WimBiz) are collaborating with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen the case for greater participation of women in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.


On International Women’s Day, the stakeholders came together at a roundtable session to discuss the theme “Promoting Gender Inclusive Boards, Organisations and Societies.” The discussions focused on progress, challenges and solutions to improve gender diversity on boards of companies in Nigeria. Participants included government officials, regulators, businesses, industry leaders and other experts.

Anastasia Braimoh, Deputy-Director and Head of Legal Department, SEC Nigeria, said “SEC is focused on developing transparent and efficient companies that will attract and retain investments, strengthen the capital market and contribute to economic development. With the support of IFC and other stakeholders, we are leading the promotion of a more balanced board with greater gender diversity to boost efficiency and overall productivity.”

Although the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a directive that 30% of all board compositions in Nigerian banks must be women, a WimBiz 2014 study found only 19% participation of women on boards in banks. Eme Essien Lore, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Research indicates that firms with a diverse directorate are better contributors to economies. Therefore, IFC, in partnership with the SEC, is promoting gender diversity on boards. This is helping strengthen Nigerian companies’ ethical reputation, increasing transparency and investor confidence and improving their financial performance.”

Globally, IFC has nearly reached a 30% target of female representation on IFC-nominated directors in companies it has invested in and it continues to aim for full parity in the near future.

Corporate governance refers to the structures and processes by which companies are directed and controlled. Good corporate governance makes companies more accountable and transparent to investors, which encourages new investments, boosts economic growth and provides employment opportunities.

IFC’s Africa Corporate Governance program is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland, and IFC is the implementing partner for the program.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, IFC uses its six decades of experience to create opportunity where it is needed most. In financial year 2016, long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly US$19 billion, leveraging its capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About SECO
SECO is Switzerland’s competence center for all core issues relating to economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve sustainable growth. Such growth is sustainable if it creates jobs, helps to increase productivity, to reduce poverty, inequalities and global risks. For more information, visit www.seco-cooperation.ch.

About SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria is the apex regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.  The Commission has evolved over time having started with the establishment of the Capital Issues Committee in 1962 by the government as an essential arm of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Investments & Securities Act (ISA) No. 45 of 1999 was repealed by the ISA No. 25 of 2007 which gives the Commission the powers to achieve its objectives which include regulating the capital market with a view to protecting investors and developing the capital market in order to enhance its allocative efficiency, and pave the way for a private sector led economy.
The Act also empowers the Commission with a board of nine (9) members including the Chairman, the Director General, three Executive Commissioners, two Non-Executive Commissioners, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria. For more information, please visit www.sec.gov.ng.

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