With a rather poor ethics and compliance culture ravaging the land, thus seeing investments taken to other climes but Nigeria, being the catalyst for corporate compliance, the Compliance Institute, Nigeria is changing the narrative. At the recently held first of its kind Induction and Investiture of Professional Compliance Designates , Associate members and Fellows, the Compliance Institute, Nigeria is changing the paradigm across the financial sector and other industries, President Compliance Institute, Nigeria, Pattsion Boleigha said
A new crop of Nigerian professionals, armed with the compliance culture, were over the weekend professionally commissioned and charged to give a boost to the war against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing beginning with the financial sector, by the Compliance Institute, Nigeria (CIN) through an oath of allegiance sworn at its inaugural investiture ceremony in Lagos.
With over 900 pioneer members cutting across three membership categories of Fellow, Compliance Institute, Nigeria (FCIN), Associate, Compliance Institute, Nigeria (ACIN) and Designate Compliance Professional (DCP), CIN is set to encourage, promote and revive the consciousness for compliance within and outside the financial industry in the country.
Expressing confidence that CIN would serve as a major catalyst for change in the way things are done in the corporate environment, the president, CIN, Mr. Pattison Boleigha said the activities of the institute would further help to salvage the image of Nigeria abroad.
“We also intend to use this to create professionals who will help all institutions in the country to be able to come up with policies to monitor crime: to monitor money laundering, corruption and even terrorists’ financing. So, we are heading towards the right direction and we believe with these Nigeria will begin to gain more respect in the international community and this will open more doors for companies and industries in Nigeria who would no longer be considered as high risk as it is today,” Boleigha stated.
While the institute is currently open to only those in the financial services sector the president hinted that plans were underway to incorporate other sectors.
He said: “When we started we actually wanted to have a compliance institute for the entire spectrum of compliance but we needed to start somewhere so we had to start from the financial industry. Today we have as our coverage financial institutions and non-financial institutions, Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions which include lawyers, accountants, hoteliers, car dealers and so on. In the near future we intend to involve the oil and gas, the telecoms, manufacturing, food and beverages, medicine, aviation and all the rest because compliance is everywhere and compliance is needed everywhere; in fact we’re even going into the public service and the rest of West Africa .”
In an investiture lecture, former director general, Inter-governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, Professor Shehu Abdullahi said the appointment of a Compliance Officer in any financial institution is a mandatory regulatory requirement, as well as a requirement of international standards.
Speaking on ‘The Role of the Compliance Officer in Achieving Business Sustainability’ Abdullahi said “within every financial institution, the Compliance officer plays critical roles, including ensuring that the organization has systems of internal control that adequately measure and manage the risks that it faces, and providing an in-house compliance service that effectively supports business areas in their duty to comply with relevant laws, regulations, internal procedures and international standards.”
He, however, highlighted that “for the compliance function to achieve its objectives it should be independent and sufficiently resourced; its responsibilities should be clearly specified, and its activities should be subject to periodic and independent review by the internal audit function.”
He warned that an efficient and effective compliance function is not achievable without the right Compliance Officer , that is, one who ensures that the organisation is conducting its business in full compliance with all national laws and regulations and international standards that pertain to its particular industry, as well as professional standards, accepted business practices, and internal standards.
On the heels of its very successful Inaugural Investiture and Induction Ceremony, it held by the side-lines, its election of new board members at its first Annual General Meeting held the same week.
At the end of its 1st Annual General Meeting of Trustees of the Compliance Institute, CIN conducted over the weekend, the following board members were elected to run the affairs of the Institute for the next two years.
Mr. Pattison Boleigha was elected President of the Institute, Mr. Aminu Buhari Isah as Vice President, Mr. Raheem Awodeyi as Treasurer and Mr. Abimbola Adeseyoju as Publicity Secretary. Three other Trustees were elected into the board namely: Mrs Isioma Gogo-Anazodo, Mr Rotimi Omotayo and Mrs Oluyemisi Olukoya.
The Guest Speaker, Professor Abdullahi Shehu, former Director General of GIABA enjoined all newly inducted members to make professionalism, integrity and ethical standard their watch words.
In all, 623 Professional Members, 23 Associate and 62 Fellows were inducted into the Institute.