Susty Business

The Ethics Series: Openness and Transparency: Stakeholder Commitment against Corruption

Report of the workshop on public-private sector partnership against corruption with the theme: “openness and transparency: stakeholder commitment against corruption”, held on March 22-23, 2012

This two-day workshop was organized as part of the Siemens Integrity initiative in Nigeria – an anti-corruption initiative of the UNGC Nigeria Network, in partnership with Siemens and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).The workshop was held to engage government and private sector actors on ways to deploying transparency, advancing the global and national fight against corruption, and promoting fair market conditions for all economic actors by employing a Collective Action strategy against corruption and fraud.

Presentation on “Transparency and Openness in Business/governance: International Backstopping to local anti-corruption movements”.

Mrs. Jobi Makinwa, the Head of Anti-Corruption Initiatives at the UNGC in New Work spoke about the UNGC’s 10th Principle against Corruption which guides businesses on their roles in fighting all forms of corruption. She stated that it was Nigeria’s responsibility to create a conducive environment for various stakeholders to collaborate with the aim to jointly counter corruption, create fair and equal market conditions for all market players and eliminate the temptations of corruption.

She also emphasized on the need for non-governmental organizations in Nigeria to assist in looking out for corrupt practices in businesses in the country.

Presentation on “A Look in the Mirror: Introspection, Transparency, and Accountability in Nigeria’s War against Corruption”.

Ibrahim Lamorde, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) delivered this presentation. He commended Siemens on the initiative of the workshop following their indictment for corrupt practices, and also praised them for using the negativity associated with their bribery scandal to their advantage of becoming a trail-blazer for other corporate organizations to imbibe the culture of clean business practices.

He spoke about the on-going measures being adopted by the EFCC to clean up the commission, some of which include probing certain key officers and subjecting staffs to lie detector tests two or three times yearly. He also called on stakeholders to play their part by engaging in deep introspection and commitment to openness and transparency in all dealings, and doing the right thing without expecting any reward other than building a society we can be proud of.

Presentation on the “Value Chain of Transparency in Business Processes – The NBC Experience”.

Segun Ogunsanya, the former MD/CEO of the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), delivered this presentation. Using the NBC as an example, he encouraged participants to work together against corruption, extortion and bribery irrespective of their company’s values and philosophies.

He also stated that NBC adopted certain measures in their fight against corruption. For example, whistle blowing, regular risk assessment by internal audit, and a confidential report system.

Presentation on “The Charter on Service Delivery: Effecting Sanctions for Non-Compliance”.

Mr. Sylbriks Obriki, the Senior Special Adviser to the President and National Coordinator of SERVICOM introduced SERVICOM as being the social contract between the Federal Government and all Nigerians, dedicated to giving citizens the right to demand for quality services by the government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He mentioned four key principles (Affirmation, Conviction, Consideration and Dedication) which MDAs must follow in order to deliver effective and efficient services, and five key components (Service Delivery, Timeliness, Information, Professionalism and Staff Attitude) which are the basis for measuring the quality of public services that is delivered to the citizens by the MDAs. He explained that SERVICOM lacks the power to sanction due to the absence of an enabling legislation, but employs corrective measures through instruments in Executive Order which mandates MDAs to report service delivery performance to the Federal Executive Council.

Presentation on “Private and Public Sector Partnership against Corruption” focusing on “The Phenomenon of Elite Capture”.

Mr. Folusho Philips, the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) defined elite capture as the ability of individuals in superior economic, political, educational, ethnic, or other category to take advantage of government programs aimed at distributing resources of funds to the general public by using their elite influence to direct such assistance or resources in such a way that it benefits the elite group.

He cited a few corruption scandals in Nigeria such as the Police pension scam and fraud, and stealing of state resources by some former governors, stating how people in the society have begun to accept and support the superiority of these groups of people. He stated the risk of Nigeria breeding warlords and anti-government groups that would be powerful enough to challenge our sovereignty as a state with their ill-gotten wealth if the government does not deal with the level of corruption we have today, most especially in the oil sector.

“Oil is the foundation of corruption in Nigeria today. Everything else revolves around oil….The NESG believes adamantly in the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and believes that the opportunities that exist for corruption can be significantly eliminated through this action. If Nigeria’s leadership does not deal with the level of corruption we have today, we will have an unprecedented level of financial warlords, who will make the drug barons of Colombia child’s play…we shall all be captured by this Elite group.”

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