We’re for good gov­er­nance in 2019 elec­tions, says IOD chief

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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.


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