Four days to the end of the present administration, the Institute of Directors (IoD-Nigeria) is keeping vigil in expectation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s signature to become chartered.
This was recently disclosed in Port Harcourt by Dele Alimi, director-general (DG) of the institute, who explained that the bill has passed all levels and has been tabled before the President and that there was no single objection to the request of the IoD to go chartered.
Alimi said it was a matter of the President sitting down on his desk in a few days to sign off pending files, hoping that the rare signature would crawl across the paper containing the text of the Bill.
He said his being in Port Harcourt to represent the president and chairperson of the board, Ije Jidenma, was because it was inevitable.
Alimi spoke for Jidenma at the Faarah Coffee Lounge on Aba Road in Port Harcourt to declare open South-South/South East wing of the 40th IoD Anniversary Lunch.
The DG urged the members to remain optimistic, waiting for jubilation in the next few days when he is sure the President’s signature would have flourished on the Bill to become law and thus transform the IoD to a chartered institute.
When this happens, he said, “The institute would be able to operate with the authority of law and full recognition of the government through an Act of Parliament.”
The DG explained why the 40-year-old institute was yet to be chartered, saying the members felt they were mature and could regulate themselves because every member came from somewhere but did not want to be under government regulation. “But we realised we needed to get government recognition. So, 10 years ago, we began to press to be chartered.”
His explanation seemed to be a direct response to the seeming heavy indictment by the guest speaker, Rufus Godwins, the Head of Service (HoS) of the Rivers State government.
Godwins had said the IoD should feel bad that they were not yet a chartered institute whereas younger institutes (such as institute of Bankers, or for Taxation, for Administrators, or for Accountants) had since been chartered.
Speaking for the IoD president, Alimi said he was proud of the Port Harcourt zone. He said the zone was the first out of the three others outside the headquarters to organise the 40th anniversary lecture/lunch.
He noted the successful planning and execution and pledged the support of the zone in all its activities, especially in fulfilling the core activities and values of IoD and the agenda of the Jidenma administration.
Jidenma had in her last visit to Port Harcourt outlined her major charges to the zones including that young directors are to be identified and included into the activities of IoD nationwide.
“Young people are making impact in businesses. They are founders of companies now, especially in hitech and IT.
“I want to see networking and collaboration in IOD especially with universities. We are also going beyond Nigeria. We want to have a voice in Africa IOD. We want to take our courses across the globe starting from Africa.
“We want to focus on SMEs not just the multinationals. We want to see clusters from across the country. We want SMEs to have access to corporate governance, good accounting, and good business models. We believe that if we support them with institutional capacity, we will see many of them blossom into big corporations,” she had said.
Speaking further for the president, the DG said the IoD would want to see talents of members deployed and exploited and their businesses must be supported and governance principles must be pushed up in their companies.
Speaking, the host and zonal chairman of IoD, Adoage Norteh, said it was important to listen to a critique on IoD after 40 years and the strides of the south-south/south east zone so far. He said no other person was better placed to do it than the Head of Service who is a first-class lawyer, administrator, and seasoned director.
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Earlier in his anniversary lecture, Godwins said that the IoD did not only fail to get chartered but failed along with other professionals to stop the slide and rot in the nation.
He wondered why the directors did not sanction the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from inflicting pains on Nigerians in the name of naira redesign.
He also said that directors and technocrats did not stop the government from taking $800m loan on its way out. He recalled the debacles of the past especially the Cadbury statement of account crisis years ago, and observed that directors often failed the companies in areas of corporate governance.