The Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoD Nigeria), the foremost corporate governance advocacy Institution in Nigeria is set to launch its Code of Ethics for Members and Staff of the Institute. The Code of Ethics, according to the President and Chairman of Governing Council of the Institute, Chief Chris O. Okunowo, F.IoD will serve as a guide for all the Institute's members and its personnel on the practice of sound business ethics and principles. He explained that though the Institute had always had a Code of Ethics, the Governing Council decided to review the codes to conform to present realities and the current challenges faced by Directors in their roles.
He continued that one of the key mandates of the Institute of Directors Nigeria is to sustain standards, values, ethics, best traditions and continuously improve the capacities of Directors to fulfil their roles of delivering value to all stakeholders. "The Code, therefore, is IoD Nigeria's commitment to maintaining its position as the leading professional body for Directors in Nigeria while ensuring that its members adhere strictly to the principles of Good Ethics and Governance in their endeavours.", he added.
Chief Okunowo said the Code of Ethics of the Institute will standardise the practice of sound ethical values and principles among Members and staff of IoD Nigeria and induce voluntary compliance with the highest ethical standards. Furthermore, he stated, the Code of Ethics is aimed at better positioning the Institute to monitor the conduct of its members and employees. It is also the aspiration of the Institute that the IoD Code of Ethics will serve as a guide for other stakeholders on Ethics. "To this end, our commitment to high ethical standards has continued to drive a role in promoting Corporate Governance and Good Business Ethics in Nigeria.
The IoD President explained that the Code, amongst others, addresses and guides a number of issues for its members such as whistleblowing framework, a Conflict of Interest policy and a gift and hospitality policy. It also provides illustrative ethics examples and case studies to showcase the impact and effect on institutions of poor governance practices and ethics and the positive impact and business benefits of good ethical practices on organisations to inspire good practice. "As an Institute with a focus on Corporate Governance, best practice and Ethics, we are committed to ensuring that our members who are directors of Institutions, subscribe to the tenets of this aspirational code, and ensure that as leaders, they are properly enabled and guided in their conduct and behaviour in their personal and business endeavours', he concluded.
Also speaking on the matter, the Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Institute, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, F.IoD, said it was important to note that in the process of developing this Code, strategic engagements were held with members to obtain their input and feedback. "The Ethics Committee members held several meetings over a 6-month duration to brainstorm and exchange ideas on the mandate from the IoD Governing Council and the Terms of Reference to ensure clarity and a shared understanding.
"The Committee conducted research and gathered useful resource materials and documentation from the Institute, committee members and across jurisdictions to aid the process of developing a best practice IoD Code of Ethics that meets international Best Practice standards", she stated.
She stated that the Ethics Committee which was inaugurated in September 2018, worked tirelessly to make available a 'Revised Code of Ethics' for the Institute, which was approved by the Institute's Governing Council in 2019, with a mandate that the Code should not only be applied to members and staff of the Institute but should be offered to all other stakeholders who are interested in the entrenchment of good corporate governance in Nigeria.
IoD Nigeria is an apex professional body with a mandate to cater and speak for Directors in their individual capacities across the various sectors of the economy. It is one of Nigeria's leading economic policy and corporate governance advocacy institution, which has consistently promoted innovative policies aimed at ensuring private sector led economic growth. It has made significant and highly impressive strides in working closely with government, corporate organizations, bilateral chambers and diplomatic missions to raise the standards of governance and corporate leadership in the private and public sectors.
The Institute also maintains a register of independent directors and remains committed to its cardinal objective of enhancing the professional skills of Directors, business leaders, technocrats, top level civil servants and public servants through its Director Development Programmes, annual seminars and workshops in the various sectors of the economy.