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The convention of Business Integrity, has identified anti-corruption as a key to the survival of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs.
The Co-Founder of the Convention of Business Integrity Mr. Soji Apampa, made this known at a Local Network’s Anti-Corruption Collective Action Incubation Lab Workshop, organised and jointly hosted by the United Nations Global Compact Office New York, the Global Compact Network Nigeria, and supported by Siemens’ Initiative, in Lagos.
CBI is a company with the mission of promoting ethical business practices, transparency and fair competition in the private and public sectors.
Apampa said, “You cannot drive anti-corruption if it does not solve a survival need for SMEs. A survival need is access to finance, a survival need is to know how to deal with regulators; those are the things that will drive their impact and participation.”
“When SMEs deal with their own inadequacies in terms of risk, uncertainty to build capacity among themselves, and certification of their ability to do the right things, then it will be easier to get other parties to engage with them.”
“We will also be speaking with the office of the Acting President when we have identified what it is the SMEs want. We need to get him to speak to these agencies directly to ensure that there is cooperation on changing the rules in a way that actually works for MSMEs that are willing to do the right thing and support the anti-corruption drive.”
“Our thrust is about the prevention of corruption before it happens rather than chasing people after it has already taken place,” he said.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji, said: “The good thing is that the result of this workshop will permeate into other sectors. If we apply what we have learnt here in our businesses it will become a different ballgame altogether.”
“If we all inculcate the spirit of anti-corruption then our businesses will grow exponentially, promoting economic growth and development,” he said.
On her part, the Head of the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria Office, Olajobi Makinwa, stated that, the SMEs have proposed a compliance kit for themselves that will ensure integrity and make them more attractive to prospective clients, regulatory bodies and financial institutions.
She stressed that, with stakeholders at the workshop, acknowledging the fact that a myriad of factors militate against MSMEs as they struggle to survive in a volatile business environment.