SON introduces standards on good governance, anti-corruption
By FRANCIS EZEM
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, the country’s apex standards bureau has introduced two anti-corruption tools, Nigerian Industrial Standards anti-bribery management systems NIS ISO 37001:2016 and Good governance NIS 902:2017, in line with the Federal Government’s anti-graft crusade.
Director-General of the agency, Mr. Osita Aboloma, who made the disclosure while speaking at the presentation ceremony in Lagos, the said the new standards would help the current administration’s efforts to reduce corruption in the country to the barest minimum.
“Since bribery and the way organisations are governed are the most contributory factors to corruption, therefore these standards offer the country the opportunity to use the global tools to support the fight against corruption”, he said.
He noted that fighting systemic corruption in the country could be a herculean task but added that the two standards would be of tremendous help, especially because they are proactive in the actions. .
According to him, the two standards could be imbedded in firms’ and organisations’ operational processes so that breaches are prevented ahead of time rather than the other way round.
Aboloma said: “These standards can be applied to any organisation’s type or nature. They will assist you prevent bribery in your systems and minimize bribery, mitigate possible lawsuit, demonstrate to customers and stakeholders a robust anti-bribery management system.
“These standards are also auditable, most international companies have already subscribed to the standards; which is a good reason Nigerian businesses need it to maintain an advantageous position dealing in the international market”.
Recall that SON during a project committee meeting on the adoption of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standards in Abuja, the committee said that the process was borne out of the desire to proffer solutions to the national discourse on corruption in our country, leveraging on standardisation tools.
Aboloma described the meeting to consider the adoption of the international standard on Anti-bribery Management Systems in Nigeria as a significant contribution to the current administration’s fight against corruption.
He commended the national experts who according to him, meticulously worked with the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) Project Committee on Anti-bribery Management Systems (ISO/PC278) to elaborate and publish the ISO 37001:2016 on Anti-bribery Management System Standard.
“The Anti-Bribery standard alongside the Nigerian Industrial standard on Good Governance (NIS 902:2017) can therefore be proactive tools to drastically reduce the incidence of corruption in the country alongside the anti-corruption laws, he said.
Aboloma described the timing of the meeting as apt, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari is the leading champion of the anti-corruption crusade in Africa.
The SON-boss assured the Committee members of the determination of his management to push for the promotion and use of the two standards by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as business entities, as tools to fight and work towards the eradication of corruption in our systems.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor, who also spoke at the launch, stated that the introduction of the standards would be a major contribution to the prosecution of the government’s war against corruption, contribute to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and reduce Nigeria’s ranking in the global corruption index.
He said for organisations, it would help provide assurance to management and owners that have implemented internationally recognized anti-bribery measures, help provide assurance to clients, customers and fund providers, and protection to personnel.
“The development and adoption of these standards globally was a recognition of the challenges posed to the development and prosperity of countries across the world by the menace of bribery and the imperatives of institutionalizing good governance culture as a means of ensuring that the exercise of power improve the quality of lives.
“Furthermore, while efforts are still in progress to develop and adopt a standard on good governance at ISO level, it is commendable that we already have one in place in Nigeria. With the recent appointment of President Muhammadu Buhari by the African Union to provide leadership on anti-corruption and good governance on the continent, these two standards offer ready tools to realise this expectation”, he said.