Jonathan Urges IoD to Intensify Advocacy for Corporate Governance

Jonathan Urges IoD to Intensify Advocacy for Corporate Governance

Gilbert Ekugbe

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has charged the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria to increase its level of advocacy for ethical and sound corporate governance in the country.
Nigeria, according to Jonathan, more than ever before needs people of integrity to be at the helms of its affairs to help address the challenge of trust existing between those in positions of leadership and the citizens.

Jonathan, who also represented a former Military Head of State, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, at the 40th anniversary dinner of the Institute which took place on Wednesday, explained that a culture of integrity was needed to address many of the challenges confronting governance in the country.
He stressed that if integrity was entrenched as a culture of corporate governance lifestyle in any organisations, problems associated with corruption, dishonesty, poor governance, and even election irregularities would be significantly addressed.

Jonathan said: “You must work hard to ensure that your advocacy for ethical governance is not mere rhetoric and slogan but is a manifest reality in the character of your members, who should, in turn, implement these ideas in the various places they find themselves.
“Let me equally remind you that there are enormous responsibilities that lie before you as an association set out to achieve good corporate governance.”
He, however, highlighted the need for former leaders to deepen cordial relationship among themselves as a recipe for building a healthy nation.
“This, regrettably, is however, not the case in some African countries where political transitions and relations between serving and former leaders are quite challenging and unhealthy because of unnecessary rivalry.

“In some of these countries former presidents and sitting presidents are like enemies who hardly talk to one another,” he bemoaned.
He also harped on the need for Africa to develop a sustainable political culture that treats elections as a contestation of ideas, where whomever that wins will be disposed to run the country with other broadminded patriots for the benefit of the citizens.
“My charge to you, therefore, is to continue to strive to project IoD as the go-to organisation for integrity and exemplary leadership. A place like IoD, given the reputation you have built for yourselves, could serve as a think tank or policy institute where corporate and political leaders could visit to test their ideas for responsible leadership and good governance.

“It can also serve as the place where leaders could go to headhunt for tested and trusted technocrats to occupy strategic national positions; those that would justly deploy their skill and experience in exemplary service to the nation. This is my hope for IoD Nigeria as you celebrate this milestone,” he averred.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat, said his administration had been promoting principles of corporate governance in all aspects of governance in the state from project management, financial management to human resource management etc.

Sanwo-Olu stated that adherence to corporate governance was a major factor in the continued improvement in the growth trajectory of the state’s economy and its capacity to meet the expectations and aspirations of citizens, individuals and corporates as well as managing the challenges of a mega city and the demands of the 21st century.

He added that effective application of the principles of corporate governance in the public sector also plays major role in the nation’s ability to connect effectively with the private sector and to firmly commit to implementing policies and strategies designed to promote ease of doing business and support the growth of private enterprises in different sectors of the economy.

“As we prepare for the commencement of a new dispensation on May 29,” let me affirm our resolve to sustain the friendly and collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors in Lagos State. We will continue to sustain our partnership with the Institute of Directors as we are committed to deepen the application of the principles of corporate governance in the system for effective and efficient service delivery to the people,” he said.

He added that the theme of this year’s celebration “Celebrating 40 years of Visionary Leadership and Corporate Governance” could not be more concise and relevant as it speaks to the very essence IoD existence, achievement and the leadership position it has continued to occupy in the management space.

He said the loD’s primary goal had been to promote good corporate governance, which is fundamental to any effective and well-managed organisation, saying that it is the hallmark of any corporate entity that is run accountably and with a long-term interest clearly in mind.

“This objective has largely been achieved through the many hard hitting and bespoke training that members of the institute have been exposed to and which in turn has continued to be a major driving force behind the success achieved by the private sector in driving key areas of our economy,” he stressed.

On her part, the President and Chairman of the Governing Council, IoD Nigeria, Mrs. Ije Jidenma, said the event was to celebrate the institute’s 40 years of demonstrating competence, integrity and enterprise.

She stated that IoD Nigeria has also partnered with the federal civil service of the federation and state governments on capacity building.

“Today, IoD Nigeria is a prime leadership organisation that focuses on the professional and developmental needs of directors, business leaders and policy makers in the country.

“It has achieved profound impact through its commitment to continued professional education and sharpening of skills of directors, promoting the entrenchment of good corporate governance in workplaces and the application of best practices in the management of resources in both the public and private sectors of the economy,” she said.

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