The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has introduced two standardisation tools, Nigerian Industrial Standards on anti-bribery management systems (NIS ISO 37001:2016) and Good governance (NIS 902:2017) to reduce corruption at the barest minimum, noting that fighting corruption in the country seems to be an insurmountable and herculean task that most administrations seem not to have overcome, but stated that the two standards are proactive tools to drasticallyaddress corruption alongside the anti-corruption laws.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, at a public sensitisation workshop to introduce the two standards to the general public, said “Since bribery and the way organizations are governed are the most contributory factors to corruption, therefore these standards offer the country with an opportunity to use the global tools to support the fight against corruption.”
He noted that these standards can act as guides that can be installed in operational processes to enable organizations apply good governance principles in a structured manner to run organizations efficiently and effectively.
In his words, “These standards can be applied to any organisation’s type or nature. They will assit you prevent bribery in your systems and minimize bribery lawsuit likelihood, mitigate possible lawsuit penalty through demonstrating an effective compliance programme, demonstrate to customers and stakeholders a robust anti-bribery management system, utilize a risk-based approach to manage bribery risk and to effectively allocate resources on high risk control and help you influence your business partners and suppliers to do the right thing to maintain your organizational reputation.”
According to him, the standards are auditable and can be certified to, pointing out that the most international companies are being certified to these standards while adding that Nigeria businesses need not to be disadvantaged in the global business environment.
Former Governor, Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor, stated that the introduction of the standards will be a major contribution to the implementation of government’s war against corruption, contribute to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and reduce Nigeria’s ranking in the global corruption index.
He said for organizations, it will help provide assurance to management and owners that has implemented internationally recognized anti-bribery measures, help provide assurance to clients, customers and fund providers, provide reassurance and protection to personnel.
He said the development and adoption of these standards globally is a recognition of the challenges posed to the development and prosperity of countries across the world by the menace of bribery and the imperatives of institutionalizing good governance culture as a means of ensuring that the exercise of power improve the quality of lives.
“Furthermore, while efforts are still in progress to develop and adopt a standard on good governance at ISO level, it is commendable that we already have one in place in Nigeria. with the recent appointment of President Muhammadu Buhari by the African Union to provide leadership on anti-corruption and good governance on the continent, these two standards offer ready tools to realize this expectation
It will be recalled that SON during a project committee meeting on the adoption of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standards in Abuja, posited that the process was borne out of the desire to proffer solutions to the national discourse on corruption in our country, leveraging on standardization tools.
According to him, the meeting to consider the adoption of the international standard on Anti-bribery Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use in Nigeria is a significant contribution to the current administration’s fight against corruption.
Aboloma commended the national experts who according to him, meticulously worked with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Project Committee on Anti-bribery Management Systems (ISO/PC278) to elaborate and publish the ISO 37001:2016 on Anti-bribery Management System Standard.
“The Anti-Bribery standard alongside the Nigerian Industrial standard on Good Governance (NIS 902:2017) can therefore be proactive tools to drastically reduce the incidence of corruption in the country alongside the anti-corruption laws, he said.
Aboloma described the timing of the meeting as apt, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari is the leading champion of the anti-corruption crusade in Africa.
He assured the Committee members of the determination of his management to push for the promotion and use of the two standards by government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as business entities, as tools to fight and work towards the eradication of corruption in our systems.