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Abstract

This study assessed the impact of board structure on voluntary disclosure of information in the Nigerian listed industrial goods companies for the period of ten (10) years 2004 to 2013. Thirteen companies out of twenty three companies were selected based on the criteria that the company must be listed for the entire period of the study, and must have the required data for the study. The data for the study were collected from annual reports and accounts of the sampled companies and were analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation coefficient and multiple regressions (OLS and GLS). Thus, a panel data regression technique was employed since the data has both time series and cross sectional attributes. While CEO duality and board composition have significant negative effects on the extent of voluntary disclosure of information in the Nigerian listed industrial goods companies, board size is found to have positive effects on the extent of voluntary disclosure. Thus, the study recommends that companies that does not separate the role of chairman and chief executive officer should do so and those companies that has done so should maintained the separation of such role in the Nigerian Listed Industrial Goods Companies in to order to reduceconcentration of power and to strengthen the propensity to voluntarily disclose information. To enhance board independence and its effectiveness in monitoring the management, the appointment of independent directors on the board should be based on their reputation, accounting knowledge, industry background, and requisite experience of the company, rather than on other non professional considerations. The findings of this study have fundamental policy implication regarding the effectiveness of board structure in influencing the extent of voluntary disclosure in the Nigerian listed industrial goods companies.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Voluntary disclosure has received considerable attention by academic institutions and different countries around the world due to reported bankruptcies and business failures that affected gigantic companies the world over such. The list is an unending one, the following are but some few examples; Enron, Lehman Brothers Ltd, AIG Insurance Ltd, Xerox, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Tyco International, Adelphia Communications, Global Crossing, Parmalat, Nortel and Crocus. As a result, several corporate governance committees and organizations around the globe have produced a number of reports and establish rules help in monitoring and controlling management systems. These reports include the Cadbury Report (1992), and Green bury Report (1995), in the UK; the Business Roundtable (1997) in the US; the King Committee Report (1994), in South Africa and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles (1999, 2004). The committees established baselines for legislation on corporate governance that give birth, subsequently, to the enactment in the USA, Australia and elsewhere (O’Callaghan 2003). In general, the efforts made in the UK, the USA and the OECD addressed the notion that decisions made by the directors and executives of a public company should be consistent with the interests of investors, and hence adequate and accurate information concerning the operations and the value of the firm needs to be disclosed in a timely and reliable manner.

An effective board of directors is at the heart of the governance structure of a well-functioning and well-governed corporation, acting as the ultimate internal monitor. Ideally, the board guides long-term corporate strategy, puts the key agents in place to implement it, and monitors performance against the strategy set out. Consequently, bad company performance and governance begins with a board not fulfilling its key responsibilities. No study was conducted to assess the impact of board structure on voluntary disclosure of listed industrial goods companies in Nigeria. Hence, this study attempts to find out whether the board structure; CEO duality, foreign member on the board, board size and board composition have significant impact on voluntary disclosure of information in the Nigerian listed industrial goods companies. The study findings will be of important to information users including directors, investors, researchers, financial analysts, and government because they provide them with information that is useful when making investment and regulatory decisions. The rest of the paper is organized as follows: section 2 presents a literature review on the board structure and voluntary disclosure. Section 3 is the Research methodology. Section 4 presents research results and discussion, and finally conclusions and recommendations are presented in section 5.

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