International Forensic Experts task Jonathan, African leaders on corruptionArticles/Opinion Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
The International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (IICFIP) has called on the Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and other African leaders to reassess the fight against corruption and white-collar crimes in their respective countries.
The institute said President Jonathan and his fellow African heads of state should raise the tempo in the fights against white-collar crimes and corruption to a level that re-brands the image of countries in the continent of Africa.
The IICFIP lamented that after a decade of a fighting against corruption, Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa which is also considered the pride of Africa, a nation gifted with human capital and natural resources, mega religious organizations and other key advantages, cannot invalidate the worldwide assumption of being categorized as one of the most corrupt nations of the world, where “fraud and corruption are committed with impunity.”
The Continental Director of the IICFIP) in North America, Dr. Mannixs Paul, who made the call in a paper titled; “A new Wave of Fighting Against White-Collar Crimes and Corruption Emerged for Businesses in Africa”, added that Nigeria and most African countries are in similar situations as majority of them are yet to show a clear difference of improvement after decades of struggle against the corruption epidemic.
“Nigeria and most African countries are yet below the average standard expectations worldwide for the fight against white-collar crimes and abuse of public trust (corruption). Corporate leaders and various governments are advised to provide an anti-fraud and anti-corruption enabling workplace by promoting due diligence as top priority in their reformative agendas”, he said.
Dr. Paul who is also a Licensed Investigative Practitioner (LIP), University of Phoenix Instructor and Certified Security Instructor, noted that the peril of commercial and government offices becoming a plain field of corruption, is a looming threat to the business communities, adding that world leaders and other prominent anti-fraud and anti-corruption organizations have over the years, warned about the eminent growing danger of uncontrolled corrupt practices, and white-collar crimes among the third-world nations.
“Among the diverse challenges in the third-world countries, the survival of businesses is an urgent need, and can only be sustained by the involvement of both local and foreign investors to build a viable economy, which systematic fraud and corrupt practices are noted as chief disruptions”, he further explained.
He also observed that the epidemic of corruption is a key to the dawdling pace of development, where business failures, according to him, have become pre-eminent in the continent of Africa. “Unfortunately, the intensity of white-collar crimes in various countries had speedily influenced the liquidation of companies, negatively affecting the interest and the success of multinational corporations and business enterprises, which has made it unappealing for both local and foreign investors.
“The backlash of uncontrolled white-collar crimes and treachery of public trust, these problems do not only affect her citizens, but also had made it difficult for the survival of businesses, which have hampered the ability of companies becoming proactive in the global market competition. The widespread assumption of “business integrity deficiency” has become an impediment for regimes and multinational companies across the continent of Africa”, he stressed.
The IICFIP Continental Director of the IICFIP stated that unethical business practice had ravaged the moral values as what was seemly amoral are fast becoming a conventional social standard in most societies, adding that desolation and desperation continue to increase as white-collar crimes reinvent self, and each day, he said, corporations and multinational companies add to the statistics of companies that have failed, reduced operations, or relocated to other countries to stay in business.
“Based on this premise, it is time for multinational corporations and key stakeholders to step up anti-corruption efforts as part of their social responsibility to society. Governments and businesses must provide assistance, implement corporate culture and policies that facilitate zero tolerance to fraud and corruption in the workplace through demonstration of commitment—lead by examples, reenergize political willingness, help contribute to the fight against corruption, and fraud-related crimes”, he recommended.
Dr. Paul also disclosed that United Compliance and Risk Management Consult Limited, a provider of business solutions and strategic compliance consulting firm has introduced an anti-fraud innovation known as the Afro Red-Flag Protective Shield Program (ARFPS), which is primarily fraud deterrence and detection programme deemed as a part of private effort to help businesses.
The ARFPS program, according to him, is a typical management tool designed for companies across the continent of Africa to modify employee behaviour, increase sense of accountability, enforcing ruled-based oriented culture, and promoting ethical business practices in companies.
He said the company is also seeking for support and promotion, and looking forward to launching the programme soon and that Nigeria will be used as the benchmark of it, and providing extended services through appointed agents throughout the continent of Africa in an incremental fashion.
Dr. Paul who holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management and Master of Public Administration with specialty in Law and Management, however pointed out that the sample display logos of the ARFPS programmes are not related to criminalization, but practical tools to enable anti-
fraud and anti-corruption workplace that foster reliability, credibility, and discipline that cultivate ethical business practices.
He further explained that the programmes are designed to lower workers’ fraud inclinations and to add efficiency to organizational operations, adding that the ARFPS is a supplementary internal control measure in organizations, which aimed to reduce the high risk of white-collar crimes, and is a fraud prevention and early detection driven.
He therefore suggested that the promotion of due diligence in business require worldwide partnerships, that comprise a
strong alliance between the private sectors, and governmental agencies, which need to be solidified by public support to achieve a cutting-edge tactic in the fight against white-collar crime and corruption in a society.
The IICFIP Director also stated that the company is soliciting support from key stakeholders of anti-corruption crusaders in various countries, government agencies, local and international organizations, and multinational companies to embrace best business practices by endorsing the anti-fraud and anti-corrupt enabling programmes at the workplace in Africa that will help to boost productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and reliability in businesses.
He equally harped on the need for leaders in Africa to be open to new ideas, especially ideas that provide a solution to impending problems of the continent, which is also a gateway to creating jobs that will benefit citizens, noting that the unyielding problem of corruption, which is now deemed as a social epidemic can be transformed to a larger business enterprise by allowing some of the services that are mainly handled by governmental agencies to have a share interest with the private sector.
“The expansion of the shared responsibility and benefits, will prompt competition, which is a key that drives efficiency, create employment opportunities for university graduates, youths, and provide customize solutions to society. On the other hand, the inability to streamline business practice that promote ethical standards, and increase sense of accountability in societies will lower the confident level of investors, which is bad for business, and is a key hindrance to the progress of Africa”, he further noted.
Dr. Paul also opined that the success of any administration largely depend on public conviction of the trust for those in leadership roles and that such trust has an all-inclusive influence for both local and foreign investors in their business decisions, which the overall occurrences at present have a negative impact for the third-world countries.
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