FIGHTING CORRUPTION – NIGERIA ADOPTS ANTI-BRIBERY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM STANDARDS

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A cross sectionof National Experts at the opening of the meeting for the adoption of ISO 37001: 2016 on Anti-Bribery Management System Standard
The Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade has received a boost with the adoption of the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standard for use in Nigeria.
Delivering a keynote address at the project committee meeting on the adoption of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Standard in Abuja, Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Aboloma 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.
Mr. 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.
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.
He quoted the standards thus “Bribery is a widespread phenomenon that raises serious social, moral, economic and political concerns; undermines good governance; hinders development and distorts competition. It erodes justice, undermines human rights and is an obstacle to the relief of poverty. It also increases the cost of doing business, introduces uncertainties into commercial transactions, increases the cost of goods and services and diminishes the quality of products and services”.These according to the SON Chief Executive, can lead to loss of lives and properties, destruction of trust in institutions and interference with the fair and efficient operation of markets, describing bribery as the single most contributory factor to corruption.

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.

Mr. Aboloma described the timing of the meeting as apt, when according to him, 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.

In her welcome address, SON Acting Director, Standards Development Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, disclosed that the technical committee for good governance standard and the project committee for the anti-bribery standard have been merged to to align with the ISO Technical Committee 309 on Governance of Organisations.

The technical committee is expected to initiate national projects that will address Nigeria’s peculiar governance issues, work with the ISO TC 309 and submit Nigeria’s comments and inputs on current works of the Technical committee and working groups to the secretariat of the Technical Committee, She said.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Project Committee and former Governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor expressed appreciation for the support of the SON Management as well as to the national experts for their contributions to Nigeria’s participation in the development of the international standards.

According to him, Nigeria is ahead of the international community on the development of the Good Governance Standard, stating that work on the standard at ISO only commenced in November 2017.

Picture 1 – DG, SON Mr. Osita Aboloma flanked by Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, Chairman of the Technical Committee and Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu Ag. Director Standards Development at the opening of meeting for the adoption of ISO 37001: 2016 on Anti-Bribery Management System Standard