Standard Chartered Bank Chair Tasks Professional Bodies on Ethics

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Ugo Aliogo

The Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria, Remi Omotoso has lamented the gap between declaration and real practice in the code of ethics of many professional bodies.

Omotosho, who disclosed this yesterday at the New Members’ Induction ceremony of the Institute of Directors (IoD) with the theme: “Professional: Oaths and Ethics in Nigeria,” in Lagos, noted that the reasons for the yawning gap include corruption, incompetence, impunity and others factors.

He explained that if the professional bodies live by the standards they set, the level of development in the country would grow faster, adding that this could improve foreign direct investment and boost the greater level of productivity in domestic investment.

Omotosho called on the leadership of various professional bodies to abide by set standards and not compromise, noting that erring members of professional bodies should be disciplined when found guilty.

“There is a large scope for Code of Conduct Bureau established by law in Nigeria to enforce adherence to best practice in the Civil Service.

“The Bureau is in a critical position to help curb corruption and unprofessional Civil Service within its stated authority. One doesn’t seem to hear much about the findings and actions taken against erring members.”

The Standard Chartered Bank Chair further called on leaders of professional bodies to reconcile their core values with the code of ethics they swore to uphold in the profession.

He added: “The leadership of professional bodies should encourage whistle blowing. This should be internally among the membership of the body. Whistle blowing from external sources will also be helpful.

“We should encourage them to give feedbacks to us with the expectations that any wrong reported would reported would be adequately addressed.

“It is up the leadership of various leadership professional bodies to design effective means out the wheat from the chaff in the inflow of report from whistle blowers.”