The West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) has kick-started a weeklong regional course on corporate governance and regulatory compliance in the Gambian capital Banjul, with the view to strengthen good corporate governance and regulatory compliance within the sub-region.
The event attracted officials of the Central Banks of Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Key officials are drawn from ministries of finance, officials from revenue authorities, and offices of the Accountant General of the countries mentioned above.
Baba Yusuf Musa, the Director-General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), underscored the importance of the training in the sub-region.
He said the training is conducted when most countries and institutions grapple with governance and regulatory issues.
WAIFEM Director-General disclosed that good cooperative governance is a foundation for a healthy and functional organization, which sets the tone for how the organization operates and behaves internally and in the market.
According to him, good corporate governance defines the relationship between the Board of Directors, management, and the rest of the organization.
It is designed to provide participants with the knowledge necessary to effectively develop and enhance good integrated governance and regulatory compliance activities across organizations.
“The course is also expected to empower leaders in both public and private organizations and compliance managers in addressing the pervasive corporate governance failures and regulatory compliance issues.
Participants are also expected to develop core operational skills that focus on best-fit practices in risk management, create regulatory compliance culture, and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders,” Baba Y Musa, WAIFEM Chief, said.
Dr. Paul Mendy, 2nd deputy governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG), commended WAIFEM for hosting such necessary training.
He said good corporate governance involves a legal, ethical, and sustainable framework to get the most value for the stakeholders.
Dr. Mendy observe that regulatory compliance involves following the regulations set out by regulators, adding that it also ensures that regulatory requirements are fully met as required by regulatory agencies.
“Meeting regulatory requirements is a prime requirement for everyone who is part of a regulated industry. They are the set of processes an organization uses to ensure that employees and the organization as a whole abide by internal rules of conduct and external rules and regulations. Thus, regulatory compliance is crucial for businesses and not only those in the financial sector,” CBG Deputy Governor said.
He added: “In my view, the first step to regulatory compliance starts with a comprehensive audit to determine a compliance baseline, compliance processes, policies, and user access controls and identify where any problem areas lie. These audits help to review how well you are following the regulatory requirements. The audits can also prepare the way for any Independent external formal audit.”
He said a significant benefit of compliance with the regulatory requirements is that organizations can identify, mitigate and eliminate risk at all stages, disclosing that risk elimination is one of the core purposes of regulatory compliance and is built into all processes.