In line with the mantra of the current government, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has introduced two anti-corruption tools: Nigerian Industrial Standards anti-bribery Management Systems (NIS ISO 37001:2016) and Good Governance (NIS 902:2017).
Speaking at the presentation ceremony in Lagos, Mr Osita Aboloma , the Director-General of the agency, said the new standards would help the current administration’s efforts to reduce corruption in the country to the barest minimum.
He noted that fighting systematised corruption in the country could be a herculean task but, added that the two standards would be of tremendous help, especially because they are proactive in their actions.
“Since bribery and the way organisations are governed are the most contributory factors to corruption, therefore, these standards offers the country with an opportunity to use the global tools to support the fight against corruption”, he said.
According to Aboloma, who was represented by the Director of Inspectorate and ports operations, Engr. Bede Obayi,, the two standards could be imbedded in firms’ and organisations’ operational processes so that breaches are prevented ahead of time rather than the other way round.
“These standards can be applied to any organisation’s type or nature. “They will assist you prevent bribery in your systems and minimise bribery, mitigate possible lawsuit, demonstrate to customers and stakeholders a robust anti-bribery management system”. he assured.
He also said the standards are auditable pointing out that the most international companies were already subscribing to the standards; the reason Nigerian businesses need it to maintain an advantageous position dealing in the international market.
Former Governor of Edo State, Oserheimen Osunbor who was at the event stated that the introduction of the standards would be a major contribution to the prosecution of the government’s war against corruption, contribute to the ease of doing business in Nigeria and reduce Nigeria’s ranking in the global corruption index.
Osunbor further said for organisations, it would help provide assurance to management and owners that have implemented internationally recognised anti-bribery measures, help provide assurance to clients, customers and fund providers, and protection to personnel.
He said the development and adoption of these standards globally was 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 improves the quality of lives. He said,
“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 realise this expectation
It would be recalled that SON during a project committee meeting on the adoption of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standards in Abuja, the committee 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.
The SON helmsman described the meeting to consider the adoption of the International Standard on Anti-bribery Management Systems in Nigeria as a significant contribution to the current administration’s fight against corruption.
He commended the national experts who according to him, meticulously worked with the International Organisation 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, however, 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.