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Press Release – Regulatory Conversations

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LAGOS, SEPTEMBER 18, 2018

In response to the recent regulatory actions by the CBN against a number of Banks and MTN, The Convention on Business Integrity, ActionAid, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Nigerian Economic Summit Group and Business Day Newspapers have come together, under the rubric of ‘Regulatory Conversations’ to foster private public dialogue aimed at promoting good corporate governance, integrity and sound practices in efforts to grow and diversify Nigeria’s economy.

This intervention marks the start of a new series of public-private engagements and this first installment is titled, The Role of Effective Nigerian Regulatory Actions in Attracting and Retaining Foreign Direct Investment. The dialogue session will be Chaired by the eminent Dr. Christopher Kolade.

Two schools of thought seem to be emerging – 1. “Multi-nationals are ripping Nigeria off through illicit fund flows” and 2. “Nigeria’s regulatory actions will kill the economy and drive away Foreign Direct Investment”.  This first “Regulatory Conversation” examines strategies for minimizing impacts of both propositions in the public interest.

Distinguished confirmed Panellists include, Mr. Femi Falana – Managing Partner, Femi Falana Chambers, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye – Executive Secretary, PACAC, Dr. (Mrs) Jummai Umar-Ajijola, Chair, Board ActionAid Nigeria, Ms. Ene Obi Country Director Action Aid Nigeria, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher BusinessDay and Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola – CEO Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Osaro Eghobamien SAN, Vice- Chair- Integrity.

The event will have in attendance decision makers/representatives/stakeholders from relevant Regulatory, Financial, Telecommunications and Media organisations.

The program in addition to examining and evaluating viable strategies to improve effectiveness of regulatory actions, it will also stimulate reflection and discourse by all stakeholders concerned. A communique will be issued at the end of the dialogue, which would detail the proceedings of the discourse, strategies and a template for the way forward. The event is funded by the SCRAP-C project run by Action Aid Nigeria, with support from UK Aid.

The Convention on Business Integrity was founded in 1997 to encourage a society that prefers integrity over corruption. Towards this, it aims to influence the behavior of systems & institutions by minimizing risk of deviance from acceptable benchmarks, through the wide publication of ratings and rankings performed on such entities, enabling more transparent, consistent and predictable transactions that people observe, affect and benefit from. CBI promotes and supports anti-corruption business coalitions with the use of collective action to curb corruption and promote ethical business practices, transparency and fair competition in the private sector.

CBi is involved in several strategic business initiatives some of which include:

  1. Corporate Governance Rating System: A collaborative effort with The Nigerian Stock Exchange to incentivize listed companies in Nigeria to choose the paths of integrity over corruption using a rating system (based on that designed originally by CBi for use by its signatories) to gather compliance information.
  2. MSME Governance & Controls Tool Kit: A self-assessment guide and toolkit for SMEs based on the 2013 COSO Framework for Internal Controls which was developed by CBI acting as Independent Facilitator of Collective Action against corruption for MSMEs, appointed by the Nigeria Local Network of the UN Global Compact.
  3. Sea Ports & Terminals Sop Compliance Ratings with MACN: Facilitator of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network’s activities in Nigeria (MACN). In addition to training officials (about 1,000 over 2016 and 2017) at some of Nigeria’s sea ports (Tin-Can, Apapa, Calabar, Onne & Port-Harcourt) on professional ethics, the intervention reiterated the importance of adherence to their Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) developed as part of the ongoing Port Services Reforms. Ship Captains are currently rating the transparency and consistency of application of SoPs and predictability of costs and time spent calling Nigeria’s sea ports and terminals.
  4. Professionals Against Corruption: A collective action against corruption targeting professional services firms who wish to do business without corrupt acts like giving kick-backs has been instituted by the CBI. This will in time complement efforts of Professionals Against Corruption in the UK, co-chaired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) London.
  5. Interventions in Public Procurement: Companies have complained about the deterioration of processes surrounding public procurement in Nigeria over the last few years. CBIi is preparing to conduct a Political Economy analysis to confirm the opportunities for successfully launching an initiative to improve responsiveness of government in this area. We already have a group of Nigerian stakeholders including Construction firms with annual turnover in the range £10m-£30m who would like to do business with the public sector and need this framework in order to be able to engage safely. Their participation is driven by their awareness of the potential loss of reputation associated with doing business with government.

Press Enquiries: For more information/clarification/questions about the program, please get in touch with the contact person listed (Yinka Johnson (CBI) 234 701 3715571, yinka.johnson@cbinigeria.com)

 

 

 

 

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