Experts Highlight Integrity, Ethics as Recipe for Organisational Growth


Obinna Chima

A former Chairman of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Dr. Felix Ohiwerei has stressed the need for workers and employers to imbibe spirituality in work place.

This, he said is essential for the growth of any organisation.
Ohiwerei, who was also a former Chairman of Unilever gave the advice in an address at the 2016 Audit Committee conference titled: “Spirituality and Ethics in the Workplace: Positive Impact on Governance, Financial Reporting and Anti-corruption,” that took place in Lagos.

He pointed out that as children of God, employers and employees must “live by the word,” adding that it “is much easier to do the right things than to continue doing wrong things.”

“Life can become much easier for us if we continue doing the right things. The rules are there. What the cooperations need to do is to obey the rules by doing the right things. It is in disobedience that we have problem.

“The problem is that sometimes we see that things have gone wrong, we know they are sanctions, but we don’t apply the sanctions. So, that makes the sanctions needless and encourages more people to break the rules. We are talking about the God factor, I recommend that to everybody. In business, in your private life, embrace God,” he said.

Responding to a question on the challenges being experienced in the forex market, the industrialist said: “This is not the first time we are facing exchange rate problem. The important thing is to map out the way forward to get the country out of this problem. I think the answers are very clear. Nigeria doesn’t lack the answers, it is the will to pursue them.”

On his part, the Chairman, Audit Committee Institute and Centre for Audit Quality, Nigeria, Mr. Christian Ekeigwe said the essence of the event was to draw attention to alternative ways of influencing peoples’ behaviour at work.

He expressed optimism that people could bring spirituality to bear in every relationship. That, he said would help to heal vulnerabilities instead of exploiting those vulnerabilities for selfish purposes.
“For example, if you are in charge of resources as an executive and you know the company doesn’t have enough controls to detect that you are stealing the money, instead of exploiting it, you heal it by using your position to recommend that better controls be put in place. So, it takes spirituality and not laws to control people in their comfort zone.

“It is important that national policy makers give attention to the issue of spirituality because implicit in it is self control of the individual. If they can get that done, definitely it would be possible for us to have to have policies that would encourage individuals and organisations to imbibe spirituality, self-discipline and integrity,” Ekeigwe added.