The role of independent directors in the corporate governance of Nigerian banks
Dr. Damfebo K Derri, AY Abdullahi
The appointment of independent directors is/was considered as desiderata and as an epitome of good corporate governance. Their necessity in the board of bank is to ensure the prevention of corporate scandals such as those of Eron and Worldcom etc. In Nigeria, the importance of independent director has been underscored by codes even before the coming on board of the National Code (now suspended) despite the absence of statutory prescriptions to that effect. Though the codes have not been unanimous as to the number of independent directors that should be on the board, the critical issue has been whether they play any role at all in promoting good corporate governance in banks. It is contended that the fact that the independent directors are now being sought after by companies as well as by banks is a clear indication that they bring a lot of value to the banks as they are expected to serve as a check on the management of the banks by providing unbiased and independent views to the board of banks and represent minority shareholders’ interests. It is argued that for the independent director to be able to discharge its responsibilities to the banks, the teething problems of the mode of appointment, industry experience, available time and tenure on the board must be tackled headlong.