The founding partner of Banwo & Ighodalo, Asue Ighodalo, has challenged members of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, to foster a thriving Nigerian economy through the adoption of strong corporate governance.

Ighodalo issued this challenge on Thursday at the 47th Annual Conference of the institute in Lagos, which was themed, ‘Sound Governance as cursor to a thriving economy: A case for Inclusiveness.’

Lamenting that Nigeria had failed to achieve its potentials despite projections from notable organisations, Ighodalo said, “We have for a very long time been called the comatose giant of Africa. We should shed that image. We must achieve our full potentials. We have over the years abandoned the faithful implementation of our development plans, we abandoned meritocracy, hardwork, creative work, efficiency, justice, the rule of law and sound governance practices at all levels.  At the private sector, rather than force government to reset, we have held on to the coattails of which ever government was in power. We do not shift government’s mind or thinking, so it is business as usual.

“Members of ICSAN train for governance, you practice governance, you provide competence, the integrity level in ICSAN is very high, the discipline level is high but I think you have underestimated your own capacity and your role in this economy and country.  In an enabling environment, corporate governance which must include diversity in all forms will always guaranty excellent company performance and in the aggregate, it will guarantee a thriving national economy. That is, the work you do in each of your respective companies is what should build a thriving Nigeria. Too many of us here pay attention to Abuja, I keep saying it, and Abuja is not the answer to Nigeria’s problem.”

In her welcome address, the president of ICSAN, Mrs. Funmi Ekundayo, said that the institute will not relent in its effort of providing policy framework for good corporate governance in Nigeria.

She said, “Over the years, we have consistently promoted the ideals of Corporate Governance through periodic issuance of policy papers and Guidance materials on Corporate and Public Administration. The Institute will, as it has been doing for decades, continue to produce periodic position papers on all major issues of national importance that has to do with economic, developmental ideals and good governance.”

In her keynote address, the Vice Chancellor, Pan Atlantic University, Professor Enase Okonedo, said, “I believe we can create a future where prosperity knows no bounds, where the benefits of the economy are shared by all and where inclusiveness is not just a phrase but a reality.”

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