While not recounting all that has happened in the past one year with regards to the Anti-Corruption crusade by the President Yar Adua Administration, do we consider the activities of the Anti-Corruption agencies to be more vibrant, compared to what we witnessed in the last democratic dispensation? Has our image fared better in the international scene with regards to our seriousness in fighting Corruption?
Welcome to Integrity's toolkit to help you comply with the requirements of the Convention on Business Integrity and become accredited as a member of Integrity. This toolkit is intended to provide advice and a wide range of resources and examples to make it as easy as possible to secure accreditation.
CBi is delighted that you have accepted the challenge to join them on a journey of eliminating corrupt practices and committing to working ethically. Many businesses in Nigeria have made a similar commitment so you are in excellent company.
There are considerable benefits to working in this way, not least the possibility of accessing international trade opportunities. You are probably already aware of the benefits, but if you would like to read further about the benefits, please follow the link.
CBi is aiming to ensure that the tick mark is recognised internationally - as prima facie evidence that companies are determined to work ethically and without engaging in corrupt practices. This will help when companies want to trade internationally.
CBi is the local delivery partner for Business Action against Corruption and is working closely with organisations like the UN Global Compact.
"In 2004, the Global Compact formally added a 10th Principle - to fight against corruption. As the retiring UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said: 'corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services... and discouraging foreign investment and aid."
How to use The Toolkit
This Toolkit is published by the Convention on Business Integrity as a practical, "how-to" guide for businesses which wish to achieve the CBi Standard and fully integrate a commitment against bribery and corruption within the core of their business activities.
At first glance, the requirements may look a little complicated, but actually the process is very simple. If you are already familiar with the requirements of ISO9000, you will find this very similar. In essence, there are four simple steps: commit to working ethically and articulate that commitment in a statement of business principles; introduce procedures to enshrine that commitment in the way that the business works; review adherence to the procedures periodically; and invite an external assessor also to review your adherence to the procedures.
The Toolkit explains in jargon-free language what a business must do to achieve and retain the standard. We recognise that many businesses will wish to go further and implement good practice. At various points in the Toolkit, therefore, we have added what are considered to be leading-edge good practice examples.
Throughout, examples are provided both from around the world, and specifically from within Nigeria.
As with every other aspect of being a sustainable and responsible business (such as health and safety; respecting diversity; environmental impacts), the commitment to integrity is a journey rather than a destination. It is a commitment which has to be constantly worked at, reinforced and re-invigorated. Societal expectations of the performance and behaviour of business, are constantly increasing. What was yesterday's leading-edge and to-day's good practice quickly becomes tomorrow's standard business behaviour.
In turn, the Convention on Business Integrity intends that this Toolkit will be a living document, regularly updated with new and better examples both from within Nigeria and externally - and infused with practical tips from the real-world experiences of successful Nigerian businessmen and women.
There are two key pages which you should read first: one describes the seven steps to becoming a responsible business; the other describes the specific process that you will need to follow in order to be accredited as a member of Integrity.
Are you a very small business or a sole trader or a recent start up. Even if you are, CBi is still for you.
Once you have achieved the requirements of the Convention, you can include the Integrity tick mark on all you publicity material as a demonstration of your continuing commitment to work ethically and without engaging in corrupt practices.
If you feel that you need support, then feel free to contact CBi and we will do our very best to provide the support that you need.
"It takes incredible courage to be a person of integrity and honesty, to operate in a different way. For a long time, people who were trying to do the right thing felt isolated. It was horribly lonely. Islands of integrity. CBi is helping to join those islands together, sharing experiences and techniques, building out to like-minded organisations."
Dr Christopher Kolade,
Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK & Chairman of Integrity
A strong regulatory regime is crucial for fighting corruption. If the work of the EFCC and the ICPC can become incorporated in the Nigerian constitution and society; and due process is rigorously enforced in public procurement, that will greatly improve conditions. It still requires individuals and organisations though to commit to fight bribery and corruption. Joining the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) is still relatively new and there is a long way to go. It needs leaders of successful businesses to be role-models to inspire others by committing their organisations to the Convention on Business Integrity."
Akintola Williams CBE,
Africa's first chartered accountant & signatory of the Convention