Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello has commended the current management of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), led by its Director-General, Barrister Osita Anthony Aboloma, for creating sustained awareness On the effects of corruption and good governance in Nigeria.
Governor Bello stated this in a message to the zonal workshop on “good governance and anti-bribery management” in the North Central organized by the SON held in Lokoja.
Governor Bello who was represented at the event by Kogi state Commissioner of Finance Hon. Idris Asiwaju, said his administration has created the “Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability (TEA)”, Unit at the state Ministry of finance in order to entrench fiscal responsibility and transparency in the governance of the state. Governor Bello advised the stakeholders in the manufacturing and construction industries to adhere strictly to the Nation’s National Standards to save lives of Nigerians occasioned by the incidence of building collapses in the Country.
The Director -General and Chief Executive of Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) Barrister Osita Anthony Aboloma, identified the bribery activities in both the public and private organizations in Nigeria as a major setback to inclusive growth and reduction of poverty at national and global levels of governance.
Mr Aboloma stated that the standards are crucial for measurement and evaluation of good governance and anti-bribery practices in organizations, for qualification and eligibility for service delivery.
Speaking through the Kogi State co-ordinator of the SON, Engr Omoniyi Sunday Omoniwa, Barrister Aboloma said, “The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) in line with its mandate to improve the living standard of Nigerians through effective implementation of the national and international standards aimed at ensuring safety of goods and products manufactured in Nigeria, introduced our generic international and national standards on anti-bribery management system (ABMS) -IS37001:2017 and NIS ISO 37001 on anti-bribery certification.
“Bribery” refers to offering, giving, accepting or promising advantages with any value or bribe in order to influence the decision, action or judgement of persons in charge of a responsibility”.
According to Aboloma, “The IMF has put the annual global cost of bribery at $2billion (#7.2trillion) and Nigerian national bureau of statistics (NBS) reported recently that Nigerians spend about four hundred billion naira (#400billion) on bribery annually. Bribery undermines delivery of inclusive growth and reduction of poverty at national and global level of governance. It is also corrosive to the strength of business and disincentive socio-economic potentials of the nation”.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had in May and October, 2018 signed into law the Executive orders 6 and 8 for seizure and forfeiture of assets connected with bribery and corruption and other relevant offences as these laws and the various “Standards” score the bull’s-eye and align with the global paradigm shift for good governance, anti-bribery and freedom of Communication (Whistle blowing) for promotion Inclusive economic growth and development.
The Director -General who described the forum as critical to acquisition of information, knowledge and collaboration for sustainable use of national resources and assets for development, advised the players in the building and construction industry that “anti-bribery management” laws, actions and regulations should be embraced and implemented by all the stakeholders as preventive and corrective measures against the crime, corruption or bribery and its associated risks to the people and nations.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) represented at the event by Engr. Yahaya Faruk Danladi, called on the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), cement and bitumen manufacturers to guard against sale and use of expired building collapse in Nigeria
The sensitization and awareness workshop with participants from the North Central zone comprising Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Benue, Nassarawa and plateau states, had in attendance the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), small and medium scale industrialists, policy makers, ICPC, security agencies, and members of the business Community.