Corporate governance mechanisms and firm financial performance in Nigeria

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Sanda, Ahmadu
Mikailu, Aminu S.
Garba, Tukur
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African Economic Research consortium
Recent global events concerning high-profile corporate failures have put back on the policy agenda and intensified debate on the efficacy of corporate governance mechanisms as a means of increasing firm financial performance. This study attempts to address this question using pooled ordinary least squares regression analysis for a sample of 93 firms quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange for the period 1996–1999. While making a case for a board size of ten and for concentrated as opposed to diffused equity ownership, the results argue for the separation of the posts of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair. Moreover, although the results find no evidence to support the idea that boards with a higher proportion of outside directors perform better than other firms, there is evidence that firms run by expatriate CEOs tend to achieve higher levels of performance than those run by indigenous CEOs. In the main, the results are consistent with existing literature, but there is need to err on the side of caution in any attempt to generalize the findings as the sample selection was determined by the availability of data rather than by any probability criterion.