Some administrators on Thursday identified critical factors that could ensure sound governance practices in organisations to improve the country’s economy.
The factors identified include institutional strengthening, display of moral values and a sound Personal Social Responsibility (PSR).
They spoke at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) 47th Annual Conference on Thursday in Lagos.
The event has the theme: “Sound Governance As A Cursor To A Thriving Economic: A Case For Inclusiveness.”
Prof. Enase Okonedo, Vice Chancellor, Pan Atlantic University, said the first step to ensure sound governance was to strengthen institutions across the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Okonedo said Nigerians must continue to build value-based culture and uphold the sound governance practices to overcome the social ills and economic challenges bedeviling the country.
According to her, when governance is weak, institutions falter and the economy bears the brunt, hence the need for inclusiveness in governance.
This, she said, was necessary to address the need of citizens regardless of region, tribe or religion, recognising that a thriving economy benefits all.
Okonedo also said leadership commitment to principles of sound governance could have a profound impact on organisations and the economy.
She charged ICSAN to make use of their roles as administrators and corporate governance practitioners to enforce compliance and drive socio-economic change.
“Two factors that have gotten in the way of national progress include corruption and insecurity.
“Sound governance should not be discussed only at the macro level but we must as individuals live by the principles of sound governance.
“We must also demonstrate unwavering commitment to transparency and accountability with a corporate culture that values honesty and integrity.
“Transparency, accountability and other corporate governance practices would foster trust between the government and the people and also ensure that opportunities for everyone are not reserved for a select few.
“There is also the need for clear values in the public sector with sound measures to promote the culture of integrity in government and society.
“ICSAN must collaborate and continue to lend its voice to championing regulatory reforms that promote inclusive governance and inclusive economic development initiatives.
“We have the moral responsibility to building a more equitable, transparent and prosperous future for our nation where prosperity knows not bound and inclusiveness not just a phrase but a reality,” she said.
Mr Asue Ighodalo, Founding Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo, noted that a strong link existed between well governed companies, rule of law and economic growth and development.
He stated that strong corporate governance practices would guarantee excellent economic performance if the enabling environment is right.
Ighodalo, noting the critical role ICSAN played in driving governance across several sectors of the Nigerian economy, urged the institute to continue to be catalyst of economy growth and development.
“In five years, India emerged from being the poverty capital of the world to being one of the top ten economies.
“With a new government in place, we have a chance to reset, realign the direction of the economy and ICSAN must play its part at the forefront of all reforms.
“We must stop idolising wealth that is unaccounted for and bring up children with good values with consequences and sanctions.
“Remember, we all have a pivotal role to play in promoting sound governance to enable a thriving economy,” he said.
Also, Mrs Funmi Ekundayo, President, ICSAN, said the event’s theme was to establish the undeniable role sound governance played in establishing a strong, viable and vigorous economy.
Ekundayo described the concept of inclusiveness as the bedrock of national growth and sustainable development.