NIGERIA: CBN, NAICOM frustrating timely release of financial statements

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Top executives of quoted companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, have blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Financial Reporting Council of Nigerian, FRCN and other primary regulators for the delay in the submission of their financial statements.

Over 160 representatives of different quoted companies, including Chief Finance Officers, Company Secretaries and Managing Directors, that converged at the launch of NSE Issuer Portal – X-Issuer – on Tuesday, said that some of these primary regulators withhold financial statements submitted to them for review longer than necessary, even beyond the stipulated 90 days for submission of such accounts to the NSE.

They noted that it was important that the NSE review upward the 90 days deadline required for companies to submit their financial statement at the end of each accounting year, while also saying that there is need to wave sanctions for defaulters in view of the negative role played by CBN and others.

According to them, the time lag between review of submitted results to the various primary regulators of quoted companies and subsequent release to the NSE should be taken into consideration.

They added that it is even a challenge accessing the NSE’s website sometimes, saying that it might pose a problem to the use of the newly introduced X-Issuer to upload results.

“There appears to be disconnect between the NSE and other primary regulators on issues bordering on timely submission of financial statements. It appears that the NSE is only interested in sanctioning companies even if it is obvious that the problem is not from them. It is important that you (NSE) meet with others to straighten things out,” they said.

A representative of one of the banks present at the launch also said, “In my bank, we held our Board meeting since January this year, and submitted our result to the CBN for review and approval. As I speak now, the CBN is yet is complete the audit so that we can submit to the NSE and we cannot submit it without approval from the CBN.

Responding, the NSE’s CEO, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said that the Exchange would engage other regulators to trash out all the gray areas militating against timely submission of financials.

He said, “We are working with the FRCN to make sure that the problem is resolved. We have engaged other primary regulators in the past, and we have scheduled a meeting with FRCN.

We cannot say that FRCN should not review your financial statement before their submission and we cannot tell you not to submit your results. What we will promise is that we will continue the engagement to see how the concerns you raised will be resolved.

Onyema, however, said that though the Exchange appreciates the problems being caused by the delay, it would not stop it from applying sanctions where necessary, adding that listed companies are ‘matured’ and should take responsibility for their actions.

Vanguard recalls that quoted companies are required to submit their financial results three months after the accounting year, failing which, it would attract sanctions from the Exchange.

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