8th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture: Integrity as A Paradigm for Business and Economic Development

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Sunday, November 1, 2020 / 1:13 PM / Ayomide Oguntoye for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Ecographics


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Business and corporate leaders recently agreed that integrity is not an act, but a journey on how people conduct themselves overtime as individuals, leaders, and business managers. This was one of the key takeaways from the 8th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity organized by the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi).

The lecture which had as its theme "Business Resilience: The Role of Integrity & If It Matters During a Crisis" addressed the need to redefine values in becoming better people as individuals, organizations, and as a nation.


Mr. Soji Apampa, CEO of the CBi, in his opening remarks, recounted the recent happenings witnessed in the world and in Nigeria and most importantly the effect it has had on social and economic life in the country.


He said that the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill for a few months, and dealt a huge blow to individuals and businesses globally.


Speaking further he alluded to the fact that businesses and corporations globally have been impacted in varying degrees, some have collapsed under the burden of the huge costs incurred during the lockdown, most economies have been negatively affected, while some have had to re-strategize and seek for alternatives to remain afloat.


"While Nigeria is still trying to come to terms with the economic consequences of the shut down for months due to the pandemic, a new twist has been added with a nationwide #EndSARS movement, led by youths demanding for an end to police brutality and bad governance," he said.

 

Apampa raised concern over the fact that people have become more vulnerable and to an extent, systems and institutions might have been compromised. The CBi Nigeria CEO posed the question; "in times like this, how can values and business integrity be sustained?".

Nigerian elder statesman, Dr. Christopher Kolade, in a keynote address admitted that integrity should be a lifestyle and as such be practiced with personal commitment.


Kolade added that the position of leadership also requires a life of integrity and in the context of business resilience. He believed that integrity can be challenging in times like this and unless it becomes a way of life, people cannot be led towards targeted social goals.


In demystifying the subject, the keynote speaker, Dr. David McClean, Principal Partner, David E. McClean & Associates, emphasized that honesty and transparency matter for individuals and businesses.


He believed that integrity was held up by three (3) pillars namely; right values, standards, and discipline.


"The consequences of a lack of integrity in business will be organizational dearth, which implies distrust, dishonesty, and a lack of credibility. Ethical rules will also be jettisoned if there is a breach of organizational integrity" McClean said.


To avoid these, the speaker said that there is a need to engage in ethical and integrity discourse in an organization occasionally, such that employees are constantly conscious of the ethical rules.


He also highlighted crisis management suggestions which include;

a.       Forgiveness of debt

b.       Communication with client

c.       There should be provision for crisis fund in the federal budget


McClean also weighed in on the #EndSars movement, suggesting ways to curb police brutality that covers the following;

a.     Avoiding ill-treatment of the youths

b.   Ethical training and education of the Nigerian Police Force to make sound judgment and build good human character

c.     Psychological assessments

d.    Regular background checks on officer's financial health


Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, in her remarks stated that integrity is not momentary but a commitment and a way or standard to deal with situations at all times. However, she pointed out that crisis in itself can be presented in many ways; pandemic, recession, and a lot more.


She further mentioned that waiting until a moment of crisis to define organizational values will leave an organization with a compromised decision that is based on the exigencies of the crisis.


"Our values and integrity are tested by crisis and there is a need to redefine our values in becoming better persons even as a nation" She added.


She also stressed that integrity has economic value and our track record of integrity as a nation will engender trust between the government and the governed.


 

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Related Posts from the 8th Christopher Kolade Lecture

1.       CBi to host the 8th Annual Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity on October 29



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Related Posts from the 7th Christopher Kolade Lecture

1. Keynote Lecture by Mr. Bolaji Balogun at the 7th Christopher Kolade Lecture on Business Integrity - July 05, 2019

2.    VIDEO: Perspective on Leadership, Governance and Ethics By Olufemi Awoyemi (Part 1) - July 02, 2019 

3.    VIDEO: Perspective on Leadership, Governance and Ethics By Olufemi Awoyemi (Part 2) July 02, 2019 

4.    Stakeholders Explore Deepening Governance and Ethics In Nigeria At CBI 2019 Conference - July 01, 2019 

5.  Hamzat, Balogun, Awoyemi Harp on a Viable Nigerian Governance Model At 7th Christopher Kolade Lecture - July 01, 2019 

6.   Igboro ti Daru: Governance, Leadership, Ethics - How To Build A Thriving Nigerian Economy by Olufemi AWOYEMI - June 29, 2019 

 


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