By Henry Uche
The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has posited that indiscipline and unguided behavior coupled with the current Covid-19 would be the next pandemic which would wreck havoc to many corporate organisations going forward.
In his address, the president/ chairman of Counciln of ICSAN, Bode Ayeku, made this known at the 2021 Annual Public Lecture of the Institute where he noted that unguided behavior of most corporate leaders and captains of industries are the reasons for the epileptic and sluggishness of most operations.
Commenting on the theme of the year’s lecture: “Sustainability Beyond Rhetoric as a Corporate Survival Strategy”, he stressed that a single wrong decision taken by a person or group of persons from different quarters could wreck havoc to the country’s economy, especially decisions of public officers, therefore the theme was apt and paramount for businesses that want to survive in this era.
“Sustainability concepts as espoused in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) therefore refers to the inclusion of the non-financial topics within investment decision-making. It is a business approach that, through policy mainstreaming seeks to build long-term competitiveness without unduly compromising short-term profitability and cash flows.
“The concept of sustainability in Corporate Governance is a very vital concept. Failure to get sustainability right, spells doom for any company and organisation. It is a concept that critically examines and seeks to guarantee continuity of any establishment. Thus, Sustainability is very key both in public and private sectors,”
He maintained that the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of sustainability in many corporate organizations which makes the concept more relevant. “When we say sustainability beyond rhetoric, many agree that the concept is very significant not only for the present business operations but for the future of human society as well.
“In practice, how many organisations or people are really committed to the ideals of sustainability? So, when we say sustainability beyond rhetoric, we mean sustainability beyond mere words, beyond mere lip service, sustainability beyond mere box-ticking; a kind of ‘they say we should comply and we have complied,’
“We are talking of being genuinely committed to the principles and ideals of sustainability. It is when there is a genuine adherence to the principles of sustainability that it can serve as a corporate survival strategy,” he put.
He added that rather than being obsessed with rhetorics, it is imperative that companies develop and practice guidelines which encourages and enable businesses to go beyond basic compliance and embrace sustainability principles anchored on responsible business conduct as part of their operational ethos.