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The study is an investigation to an alternative approach for corporate social responsibility reporting and disclosure practices by corporate entities in Nigeria with emphasis on the need to use an accountability frame work that will provide a wider disclosure of corporate information to a wider audience incorporating corporate social responsibility information. The study is an empirical survey that seeks to explore the views and perceptions of the accounting communities in relation to the objectives of the study. The population randomly selected for this study comprises of four groups that are directly involve in the practice of accounting. A questionnaire was design as the data collection instruments. Chi-square was used to test the hypothesis of the study that stated that there is no significant difference in the views of all the groups under investigation.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria with an estimated population of over 180 million people is the largest market for goods and services in Africa. Its gross domestic product was U. $ 568.51 billion in 2014. There are 864902 companies registered with the corporate affairs companies registered with the corporate affairs commission. The Nigeria stock exchange has 209 listed companies with a combined market capitalization close at #9.851 trillion as at December 2015. (Asein, 2010), noted that despite this huge resources it is neither satisfying the need of the people nor increasing the growth of the economy.
A key policy strategy in repositioning the economy of Nigeria is the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the economy to provide investible fund for corporate entities. Foreign direct investment in Nigeria has been declining for the past decade primarily due to the perception of risk in Nigeria Obazee, (2010). The perception of Nigeria as a risky country for the flow of foreign direct investment can in part be attributable to the limitations and short comings noticed in the corporate reporting and disclosure practices by Nigerian companies this is owning to the fact that some of these companies cannot provide investors and other stakeholders with sufficient and reliable economic information that will enable the users of such information to understand the risk profiles inherent in such companies and to permit informed judgment and decisions.
Nowadays, business has become more global and indeed Nigeria is part of this globalization. The competitive and dynamic nature of Business environment has brought about pressure for more information disclosure to assist shareholders and others stakeholders in taking economic and other investment decisions. Asein (2009) to the end concluded that the global adoption of a single set of financial reporting standard will enhance comparability and create an enabling environment for all investors to compare effectively investment opportunities across the global market.
It has been observed and frequently asserted by scholars of accounting history that the practice of accounting and corporate reporting and disclosure requirement of corporate entities have been closely interlocked with the social, political and economic situation of a country. However, there are two very clear elements in the conventional basis of legitimating for current accounting practices. Role of law and the concept of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The legal basis for reporting and disclosure practices in Nigeria is derived from the relevant laws and legislation notably the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA, 1990) and secondly from the recent adopted international financial reporting standards in 2012 which is to be observed in the preparation and presentation of financial statement by corporate entities in the country.
However, the relevance and adequacy of such standard (i.e. IFRSs) to Nigeria face with social and economic problems in the real life. Given that accounting systems have the potential for supporting change in a society and are never neutral, it seems therefore that there is an urgent need for recognition of a greater social role of accounting in Nigeria. Indeed, there is an urgent need for an approach to corporate reporting and disclosure practices that will be of greater use than the current one which is based upon the companies and allied matters act (CAMA 1990) and the IFRS. There is a need for an approach that can contribute to the understanding, debate and hence, proffers solution to the social and economic problems that Nigeria experiences.
Therefore, the main question underlying this research study is: what are the alternative approaches that can provide an appropriate basis in terms of relevance and sufficiency for corporate reporting and disclosure practices in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem area that spurred the interest in researching into this topic are Specifically attributable to the limitations and shortcomings noticed in the current framework of corporate reporting and disclosure practices of Nigerian companies which previous research has proved to be deficient. According to Wallance, 1988; Adeyeyemi, 2006; Nzekwe, 2009; Okike, 2000; and Ofoegbu & Okoye, 2006. They all found Nigerian reporting to be deficient. According to Ali et al (2004), the government regulatory bodies and the accounting profession of developing nations suffer from structural weakness and often take a lenient attitude toward default of accounting regulations.
The mandatory and voluntary disclosure of financial and non financial information in the corporate annual reports have attracted a considerable attention their by necessitating the need for an accountability framework as an alternative approach for corporate social responsibility reporting and disclosure practices for Nigerian listed companies that will provide a wider disclosure of corporate social responsibility information to a wider audience.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study has four principal objectives. First is to examine and evaluate the current framework of CRDPs in Nigeria (which is mainly based upon the companies and allied matters Acts and the recently adopted international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) in order to highlight the possible limitations and shortcomings of such a frame work.
The second objectives is to explore the views and perceptions amongst members of the accounting communities in Nigeria as to the basic features for the current CRDPs of Nigerian listed companies, the reasons for the adoption of IFRSs in Nigeria in terms of their relevance and sufficiency to the country, the disclosure of corporate social responsibility information and the notion of social responsibility and accountability.
The third objective is to establish a framework as a basis for alternative practices within which wider disclosure in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) information may be provided to a wider set of stakeholders.
The final objective is to outline a specific proposal for such an accountability framework as a basis for such practices.
The research objectives are guided by the following research question:
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0 There is no significant difference in the views of the entire group under investigation.
H1: There is a significant difference in the views of the entire group under investigation.
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
Accurate, sufficient and reliable corporate reporting is a necessary tool for short and long term survival of any organization. the current corporate reporting and disclosure practices in the country that is characterized inefficiency on the part of the regulatory bodies and the insufficiencies of the generally accepted accounting principles has spurred interest into this studyand the economic and social problem confronting the country at this moment, and the country is facing at this moment, and the suggestion and recommendation of this study one can conclude that the study is of great importance to corporate reporting and disclosure practices of Nigeria companies in the following areas.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.7 GENERAL STATEMENT ABOUT THE RESEARCH APPROACH
In order to explore the above research objectives, the research utilizes more than one type of method, namely a descriptive method. Theoretical and conceptual analysis: and empirical survey. A descriptive method is used to review, evaluate and examine the current framework practices in Nigeria: the method is used to review and examine the accounting and its environment, in which it operates in Nigeria, the nature and qualities of accounting practiced in Nigeria which research has proved to be deficient, and some alternative approach for improving accounting practices in Nigeria, the current framework of corporate reporting and disclosure practice in Nigeria.
A Theoretical and conceptual analysis is undertaken in order to examine and analyze the need for and to suggest an accountability framework as a basis for corporate reporting and disclosure practices in Nigeria within which wider disclosure of CSR information may be provided to wider set of audience.
An empirical survey is carried out for exploring views and perceptions as to:
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE REST OF THE RESEARCH
This study is presented in five (5) chapters. These chapters are organized in a sequential manner that will aid careful investigation and easy achievement of the objectives of the study.
Chapter one is a preview of the back ground of the study and the problem that necessitated the study. This lead to the outline of the objectives ,significance, research question and hypothesis within which sample size of accounting communities are drawn and finally operational definition of terms.
Chapter two presents the review of relevant literature concerning this study. Also theories about the dependent and independent variables were discussed. A discussion and analysis that attempt to establish the need for an accountability framework for CRDPs in Nigeria which includes: An examination and Analysis of CSR reporting in the Nigeria context; An examination of the theories, approaches and/or perspective which have been provided in the literature in order to identify the one will provide the most appropriate basis for a wider disclosure in term of CSR reporting suggested for Nigeria; An outline of a proposed accountability framework as a basis for CRDPs in Nigeria
Chapter three reveals the method of data collection, in relation to the research design , questionnaire, population and samples with emphasis on model specification, estimation validation and reliability of research instrumentation.
Chapter four under takes the data analysis of the respondent’s perceptions, and views and presents the empirical findings obtained from the data analysis accordingly, it includes:
Chapter five provides the summary; the findings and conclusion and recommendations of the research. In addition, the appendix provides details of the questionnaire, in the empirical survey and detailed summaries of the responses received.
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