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FRC urges CFOs to integrate sustainability reporting in financial framework 

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The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) has called on Chief Financial Officers in both private and public sectors to play a major role in integrating sustainability reporting in the financial reporting framework.

The Executive Secretary/CEO of FRC, Dr. Rabiu Olowo stated this at the maiden edition of the Lagos Business-CFO Leadership summit held in Lagos.

Olowo, represented by Mr. Iheanyi Anyahara, Director of Accounting Standards at the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, emphasized the importance of sustainability reporting as an integral part of financial reporting.

In addressing Global CFOs on financial reporting, Olowo stressed the need to move beyond compliance. He emphasized that modern CFOs must drive growth and be trusted organizational partners, highlighting integrity, transparency, forward-thinking reporting, effective communication, risk management, and continuous learning as essential attributes.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Chris Ogbechie, Dean of Lagos Business School, underscores the vital role CFOs play in shaping strategic business leadership.

He noted that the summit signifies Lagos Business School’s commitment to nurturing such leaders, amidst challenges like talent acquisition and government policies, highlighting CFOs’ pivotal role in navigating today’s complex business landscape.

He stressed the institution’s commitment to fostering leader’s adept at innovation, cost management, and risk mitigation. In navigating Nigeria’s dynamic economic landscape amidst supply chain challenges, rising costs, talent retention issues, and inconsistent government policies, CFOs emerge as pivotal figures in ensuring financial health and strategic decision-making.

Mr. Isah Aruwa, Technical Lead of Finance at Dangote Industries Limited’s Office of the Vice President, representing the Group CFO, highlighted the increasing trend of businesses expanding beyond domestic borders.

He stressed the necessity of visionary leadership in successfully navigating this ambitious endeavor. Aruwa emphasized the Finance team’s critical role in driving organizational strategies, particularly in areas such as foreign exchange management, capital allocation, and ensuring tax planning and compliance.

He further underscored the importance of effectively addressing challenges such as regulatory hurdles, political instability, and currency fluctuations in the pursuit of global expansion.

Speaking on the impact of CEO-CFO synergy within Dangote Industries, Mr. Isah Aruwa emphasized the crucial role collaboration plays in ensuring the organization’s sustainability and ability to navigate complexities within the business environment and economy.

He noted that Dangote Industries has significantly benefited from this seamless collaboration, facilitating its expansion across Africa.

Similarly, Mrs. Yeside Onafuye, Vice President of Financial Control & Budget at Africa Finance Corporation, representing President/CEO Mr. Samaila Zubairu, highlighted success stories of prominent corporations like Amazon, JP Morgan Financial Group, Apple, and Africa Finance Corporation on the relationships existing between CFOs and CEOs.

According to her, effective CEO-CFO relationships hinge on open communication and understanding the CEO’s leadership style.

CEOs need CFOs who challenge decisions with facts. Understanding the CEO’s vision and work practices is crucial for CFOs as key executors. Onafuye emphasized the synergy between CEOs and CFOs, likening it to steering a ship through challenging terrain, propelling businesses towards success.

Earlier in an opening remark, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan LBS CFO Leadership Summit Director said

He noted that increasingly, the CFO is engaged in strategic communication with key stakeholders including c-suite colleagues, boards, investors and regulators thus requiring big-picture thinking and strategic alignment with the overall vision, strategy and execution of the firm, led by the CEO.

He explained that the objective of the leadership submit was to deepen the leadership horizon of the CFO as a strategic partner of the CEO in the delivery of the goals of the firm.

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