By Taiwo Agesin
The Federal Government has directed Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to enact a code of ethics for quality management system for lead Auditors in the country. This fact was disclosed by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr Humphrey Enemaku Abah.
A quality management system lead auditor is one who has attained the higher qualification of a management system auditor having taken the course of study on ISO 9001 QMS standards and passed the examination as well as undergone necessary training in practical management systems audit.
In a keynote address during the first national conference of quality management system lead auditor and management representatives in the country, organised by SON in Lagos, the Minister, said: â€œ I urge you to look beyond mere compliance and also ensure that you enact a code of ethics if the profession of management auditors is to be seriously considered.â€
He told the countryâ€™s Standards body to draw up the code of ethics stating â€œduties of the auditor to the public, duties of the lead auditor to an employer, duties of the lead auditor to a client when private practice ,duties of lead auditor to other lead auditors, subordinates and other professionals, duties of lead auditors to themselves.â€
While commending SON for discharging its roles of standardization, certification and quality assurance of products either domestically manufactured or imported into the country including metrology, the Minister, tasked the lead auditors, saying â€œYour primary role is to assist your organizations attend higher performance status, become more competitive and thus drive this nation forward towards achieving its vision and goals.â€
Dr. John Ndanusa Akanya, SON Director General, noted that about 1992, the United Nations appointed him a National Expert under the UNIDO aid to Nigeria and among his briefs was to identify and steer the country towards quality as a way of life so that the generality of the populace would be developed in terms of competence.
â€œIt was in the light of this that around 1993, we commenced the development of competencies and provision of enabling tools that would help Organisations to set up Quality Management Systems as part of their culture so as to remain competitive internationally.
Thus by 1994, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) worked against all hurdles to provide the framework for Systems to be Certified in the country. You will recall at that time that other countries viewed Nigeria as lacking the integrity to perform such related activities as auditing (and of course Certification) while internally, many people believed that money could buy anything.â€
SON, he said, commenced these programmes based on integrity and has kept to its promise that it would abide by the principles of systems audit which we teach and insist upon in the course of Certification and related activities. â€œSince then, we have come a long way thus gaining the respect of many countries.
We want you all to hold your heads high because if there is any area that Nigeria is viewed with respect, it is in the area of management systems activities. I am always kept informed of the various feats that you have been achieving both within and abroad when you are called upon to apply the knowledge that you have gained in this profession.â€