We’re for good governance in 2019 elections, says IOD chief
De le ali mi is the director-general and chief executive Officer, institute of directors( iod) nigeria. in this interview with gloria e hi ag he, he speaks about the emergence of quality leadership in the 2019 general elections, and the forthcoming io dan nu al directors’ conference among other issues of national importance. excerpts:
The Annual Directors’ Conference, which is the Institute’s flagship event, is around the corner. What are you doing differently this year, and how are the corporate directors responding to it?
The conference is holding on November 8, 2018, at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, with the theme: ‘Global Best Practice in Corporate Governance: Way Forward for Nigeria’. From the theme, you will realise that we are still demanding more in terms of the need for Nigeria to embrace the spirit of good corporate governance. What we are doing this year is that we are looking at the global best practice, where it has been done and how it has been done right, and bringing people to come and discuss that.
We are going to have foreign speakers and discussants from climes where interna- tionally, they have been acclaimed to have very good corporate governance codes that are working and working very well for them. We are bringing them here to listen to their experience. We are also going to have Nigerians who are also in charge of implementing our codes, or contributed to our own governance code. Not only are we examining the issue ourselves, we will be looking at other places where they seem to be doing it better than we are. The special guest of honour is the Vice President, and the keynote address speaker is Prof. Bola Akinteriwa. He has written so much on leadership, especially as it affects Nigeria, and you have the Chief Executive Officer, IOD Mauritius. Mauritius is regarded as one of the countries in Africa with the best corporate governance codes. It is working very well for them, if you look at the ease of doing business; they are even ahead of us. We are bringing the CEO of Mauritius IOD to talk about their own experience, about how they were able to entrench corporate governance code, and how they were able to work in their country. Part of our speakers is the President, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Bimbo Banjo; Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Eyo-ita; and Chairman Financial Reporting Council among others.
2019 is an election year. What are the institute’s expectations, how prepared and what role will the institute be playing?
In terms of the institute’s expectation, our expectation is the same with every other Nigerian. Our expectation is that we have a free and fair election that will bring out the best Nigerians to lead the country.
Going forward, IOD will participate in the discourse that will lead to the emergence of good governance. As I speak with you, we are planning on holding a pre-election discourse with some major contenders for positions in this country, such as the presidency and governorship candidates of states where we have branches. We want to engage them, and allow people to hear from them and see what they have in stock for corporate Nigeria and the country in general.
So as a body that is apolitical, these are the things we can do. We are hopeful that as the country is becoming older, we will continue to entrench the values and the right kind of leadership with other BMOS in the country for the develop- ment of the country.
Recently, you launched the Code of Ethics Committee. What informed it and how is the committee going to regulate the activities of directors in their various organisations?
The idea of setting up an ethics committee is to ensure that all our members at all-time are above board in their dealings and activi - ties. Also, to play the roles they have been given as directors.
We believe that when we put in place, the code will guide directors. Our aim is not to be punitive. We will give our members a code that will spell out their responsibilities. We believe that at any point in time anyone has an issue, they will be guided on what to do in terms of blowing the whistle.
The whole idea is that as a member of IOD, there is a particular level of standard that is expected of our members, and if anyone falls below it, there will be sanctions. Also, the reason I said it is not going to be completely punitive in nature is that when we notice that a member errs, standing on the existing ethics code that we have, we can write the member. So it is also going to be advisory in nature and that will not be within our control. Our code of ethics is within our control.
We are not going to be waiting on government and regulatory authorities. We will have our own committee. This ethical conduct will ensure that members are able to live above board.