- Â Bill to entrench civic responsibility scales second reading
James Emejo in Abuja
In an apparent response to criticisms from various quarters which have trailed the system of rules, practices and processes by which the affairs of corporations and government are directed and controlled, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has hinted that the National Assembly will introduce laws to strengthen corporate governance in the country.
Corporate governance involves balancing the interests of many stakeholders, such as management, financiers, shareholders, government and the community. He said such laws were needed to safeguard jobs and the economy given that the failure of corporate governance often had a negative impact on the country.
He disclosed this at the 81st inaugural lecture of the University of Jos held over the weekend.
In a related development, a bill for an Act to entrench civic responsibility behavioral pattern, promotion of constitutional knowledge and rights, as well as ensure orderliness, equity, fairness and justice in the distribution of service and for other related matters in Nigerians, has scaled second reading on the floor of the House.
Sponsored by Hon. Abubakar Amuda Kannike (APC, Kwara), the bill proposes six months imprisonment for persons who shunt or distort queues. Majority of members supported the bill, which looks good to sail through at its third reading.
Dissecting factors that led to collapse of corporate governance in the 2000, Dogara said, â€œIt boiled down to the way and manner those corporations were managed. All the problems we traced to corporate governance issues.
â€œImagine if you had a company that used to fix that brand of Mercedes that we used to call German mistake, and then you have management that said weâ€™re not going to have anything to do with any other brand of Mercedes, except this one.â€
According to him, â€œwherever you find problems it had to do with insider collaboration or failure on the part of those governing that corporation.â€
Meanwhile, leading the debate during plenary, Amuda-Kannike said it was normal practice for some Nigerians to shunt or distort queues and go unpunished since they were seen not to violate extant laws.
He expressed worry that recent events have shown that Nigeria is on verge of losing her cherished sense of nationalism, cultural identity and hospitality.
He said, â€œThe bill underscores the need to re-awaken a derailed national culture by proposing disciplinary measures to guide Nigerians in their daily behaviours.â€
â€œIn our society today, out of total disregard for other persons who strive to do the right thing by conducting themselves orderly in public places, a large number of Nigerians distort queues and go unpunished. The bill if passed into law shall provide a starting point of value and cultural re-orientation in Nigeriaâ€, he added.