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HomeHeadlinesProfessionals must act ethically for economy to grow, ICPC boss

Professionals must act ethically for economy to grow, ICPC boss

*as APBN proffers solutions to Nigeria’s challenges

By Michael Oche

Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said if we are to achieve our dream of a sustainable economic growth as a nation, integrity should be the cornerstone of every professional practice and professional bodies.

Owasanoye who spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the 11th annual summit of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) however lamented that one cannot deny the fact that many professionals in Nigeria face an ethical dilemma because the environment is characterised by endemic corruption that makes almost everybody vulnerable to corruption and money laundering.

He pointed that one of the major reasons Nigeria struggles to attract investors is because of the low integrity and high corruption ecosystem, poor infrastructure aside.

He explained that if the business climate is good on integrity and the professional side is strong on ethics, investors are often willing to take the risk.

According to the ICPC boss, professional bodies can overcome this vulnerability by developing a code of ethics and enforcing the code by punishing violators.

He said regulators of each professional body must in collaboration with the professional body develop an ethical culture through effective communication, training, and discipline and constant oversight and improvement of the environment of operations.

He said, “The motivation to do wrong is very high because professional code of ethics are not implemented by those saddled with the responsibility whether they be the officers of the professional body or regulators, partly because the rules allow for discretion or because they are implicated. The result is that erring professionals easily rationalise their actions.

“Experience, however, shows that a person, professional or business that chooses the path of integrity will always appear short-changed but only in the short term. Such are vindicated in the long term if they stay the course.”

Earlier in his address, President of APBN, Surveyor Akinloye Oyegbola said the Summit provides avenue for her thirty Member-bodies to come together with a view to brainstorming on issues of concern to the nation and proffering appropriate and enduring solutions to them.

He said, “It is common knowledge that the world is going through trying times. Just as the slow Socio-economic recovery after the Covic-19 pandemic was gathering momentum came the Russian invasion of Ukraine which has preoccupied the developed countries. As lives were being lost daily, the attention of the developed countries has been shifted to trying to contain the invasion and its far-reaching implications.

“It is as if our nation’s share of this was not enough, we have a high level of inflation and insecurity to contend with on daily basis.

“APBN as the umbrella Association for all professions in the country has the undisputable responsibility to continue to intensify its effort on advocacy and enlightenment. This is borne from the conviction that it is the professionals of any country that would develop it.”

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