Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Transparency Forum Initiative launches

The Transparency Forum Initiative (TFI), a series of targeted roundtables will launch on Tuesday 17 November, with a press conference. The initiative will focus on highlighting the importance of transparency in all aspects of the political and commercial economy, advocating for regulatory reforms around transparency and encouraging public-private collaboration on new approaches and actions required to embed transparency into the business landscape of Nigeria.

The objectives of the initiative are 4 fold:

To enable dialogue -   To create a platform to enable dialogue between the private and public sectors with a view to identifying opportunities for collaborations centred on the aim of achieving transparency in key sectors of the economy.

To build capacity –To educate stakeholders on how to develop and deliver transparency initiatives within their own organisations.

Advocate for solutions – To advocate for changes in policies, laws and regulations that govern data transparency, regulatory reporting and transparency in decision making.

To protect the national interest – To increase awareness on the role of transparency in economic development and attracting FDI.

The initiative aims to redefine the term “Transparency” by paving a practical platform for the use of improved business training courses and tools i.e. open data, communication, credibility, visibility, data, reporting, corporate governance, ethics, compliance, tax and audit, best practice and  that are essential to succeeding in business as well as attracting investment. The medium to long term outcome is to develop private sector Transparency Baseline Index that reports credible data and information on Nigerian companies in all sectors.

The Transparency Forum Initiative consists of committee member firms working in Nigeria - These are emc3, The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria, Control Risks, Africa Practice, Olisa Agbakoba Legal, The Business Year Publication and The Financial Times Group. Their goal is to “Identify, Introduce, Engage, Promote and Re-ignite Investments for Sustainable Partnerships”.

The Government welcomes the move by the partners to set up the initiative:

“Government business is being conducted with transparency and cynicism is waning as a result” – President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

“A strong culture of transparency and corporate governance is imperative if Nigeria is to attract both foreign and local direct investment required to build sustainable economic development. It can be done- through policy, collaboration and determination. This is what the Transparency Forum is about and why we are a part of it. We stand ready to apply our technical expertise and know-how to this critical agenda. We call on the broader private sector community to join us, making transparency a centrepiece of the development drive of the nation.” - The Executive Secretary Mrs. Uju Hassan Baba, of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission

 “With acknowledgement from the Presidency on this private sector’s Transparency Initiative membered by stalwarts like Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN as we launch gives an indication of the emphasis that needs to be placed on the subject matter. The prospect of increased transparency heralds an exciting prospect for the future of doing business in Nigeria” - Baba-Jallah Epega, emc3 Spokesman for The Transparency Forum Initiative.

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