Robert Mbonu

Nume Ekeghe

The federal government has been advised to enforce risk management practices in all its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) so as to be able to withstand shock during period of economic downturn.

This call was made yesterday at the SIAO breakfast discourse were experts gathered to discuss the theme: “Governance, Risk and Compliance- improving business performance in challenging times,” that took place in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Partner, Risk Management Consulting International Resources (RMCIR) Mr. Robert Mbonu said Nigeria is where it is today because of failure to imbibe risk management practices.

“Risk management is a function we all have in our organisations but the problem is that risk management is treated as somebody’s role. The real risk management is applied today in terms of organisations that are successful is that risk management is like the blood in the veins of the organisation. Risk management has to be imbedded, proportionate, articulate, and comprehensive and it must be dynamic,” he added.

He further pointed lack of risk of risk management was one of the reasons why projects fail in ministries and agencies of government, just as he said risk management was vital to drive the economy towards growth.

Mbonu added: “Which ministry in this country has a risk manager? Risk management has to become part of our system. It must not be that man’s role; it should be everyone’s role in all organisations.”

Speaking on what prompted the conversation, the Managing Partner at SIAO Financial Services, Mr. Ituah Ighodalo said governance, risks and compliance (GRC) should be a focal point for the present administration.

Ighodalo added: “We must all admit that in Nigeria now, times are a little bit challenging now. There is a new government in its 16th month with an economy that going into depression. Oil prices have fallen and our production has gone down by almost 40 or 50 per cent and we have not been able over the last 56 years of independence to properly structure our economy and take advantage of the abundant resources that God has blessed us with.

“The world is going through a period of change and we think that at this point, it is good to look at some key things that never change; ethics, morals and governance. And in corporate terms, we call it governance, risks and compliance (GRC).”

He also said SIAO is in the process of transitioning to becoming RSM Nigeria.
Also speaking, a Partner RSM UK and Head of Risk Assurance Services Mr. Richard Smith said: “You need to have an open and accountable culture which encourages people to come forward if they have concerns and also encourages people to come with ideas that can improve the risk of government compliance and control at any organisation.”