…says there’s hope for Africa amidst challenges

…urges African leaders to establish compliance culture
By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- AS the world grapples with various disease challenges, a strategic leadership expert, Dr Mannixs Paul, has called on Nigeria and other African countries to leverage on COVID 19 Era to stimulate economic growth by establishing rule-based oriented culture.

Paul stated this in a paper titled ‘Strategic Leadership Practice in the Establishment of Ruled-Based Oriented Culture: Re-enforcement of Compliance in Africa Post’, which he delivered at the 2nd Graduation and Induction Ceremony of Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Professionals (FAFIP) that was held at the Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma, Bayelsa State.

According to him, effective strategic leadership in the post era had become significant determinants in achieving economic growth and ensuring sustainability in the 21st century in Africa as over the years, history has indicated that transformational leaders in the western world reinvented reconstruction and modified their strategy in times of unprecedented crises.

He further stated that they utilized their leadership ingenuity to break the barriers of race, ethnicity, religious and political differences to explore current state of affairs to redirect the political spectrum to nation-building expeditions for the benefit of their citizens.

He added that their cause of action helped to alter the economic challenges for a greater posterity.

He said: “The challenges Nigeria and the rest countries in Africa are principally identical and are long predisposed to multifaceted barriers to reaching sustainable economic growth.

“The alerting issues include insecurity, unnecessary killings and sabotage, gross mismanagement, escalation of deceitfulness of public trust, financial meltdown, political instability, unashamed corrupt practices, poor wages as per gross domestic product ( GDP), shortage of altruistic leaders and noble statesmen and stateswomen, high-tech and infrastructure, and never-ending increase brain-drain.

“Other related issues include: Instability of the currency; High poverty rate; Shortage of medical facilities; Scarcity of contemporary educational amenities; longevity problems; Food security risk; Increasing threat of the population explosion; Environmental pollution; Fear and anxiety as daily waste of time; Need for employability; Breakdown of Social order; High rate of lawlessness; Difficulty in monetary transfer in international business transaction.

“Each of these challenges is experienced worldwide in either the past or the present time as per history.

“Nevertheless, African leaders of the 21st century must recognize that individual subjective values and competencies provide a pathway to create a new order of initiatives to alter the distractions to any nations building campaign .

“Change advocates suggested that transformational leaders must not incline on the past failed policies and strategies but do their utmost to focus on cost-effective changes, data-driven technology, and increased human capacity. They should strive to reinforce the adoption of ethical business culture that compels compliance to a ruled-based oriented culture, which is a practicable tool for reconstruction to facilitate economic growth in the Post Covid-19 Era in the Continent of Africa.

“Time has come that leaders of Africa must understand that, like Covid-19, no responsible leaders will abandon their citizens to save others in time of asynchronous crisis.

Consequently, in the post-Covid- 19 era, Leaders of African needed to act in a fashion to utilize their leader position to break the barriers of race, tribalism, ethnicity, religious and political differences to explore the current situations to redirect the political spectrum. Leaders should focus on nation-building expeditions for the benefit of their citizens and alter the economic challenges for greater posterity (Paul,2012).

“Each country must stop the unending exploitation, nepotism, gross mismanagement and strive to reinforce the adoption of ethical business culture that compels compliance to a ruled-based oriented culture and ensure accountability which is a viable opportunity for African Development in the Post Covid-19 Era.”

However, Dr Paul who also is the Global Chairman, Chartered Examiners of Criminology and Forensic Investigation Inc, USA, made some salient points which he highlighted the inadequacy of most African countries to comply with the international standard making it complicated to attract foreign investors.

“Such connotation is counterproductive for the leaders in Africa to achieve enduring economic growth.

“Experience indicates that investing in developing countries are becoming more endangered based on risk assessment analysis regardless of numerous natural resources and human capacity resources.

“Corruption is a universal problem based on the stipulation of Chapter 8 and Article 71 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which compels Member states to execute a comprehensive and accurate range of anti-corruption standards influencing their laws, institutions, and practices.

“Nevertheless, the prevailing situation in various countries imposes an undue burden on real investors in Africa. Because of the unconstrained uncertainties, which reflect the conditions of bilateral agreements and, as a result of poor credit rating, attract high-interest rates in acquiring foreign loans, and sometimes, attract high-interest rates deemed predatory lending.

“On the other hand, the most presumable foreign investors, the high-risk takers, are attracted to such corrupt countries and collaborate with individuals in power for self profiting missions, where undermining the local and international laws has become a standard of operation.

“The sign of such integrated collaboration is the deficiency of transparency and well-being of their employees are undermined. Besides avoiding corporate social responsibility, environmental degeneration is a criterion and none compliance with the basic rule of laws.

“It is now high time for African leaders to step up and never allow themselves to be used as a means to an end at the expense of their unborn children. For this reason, the burden to attract real foreign investors dramatically depends on the role of effective leadership in Africa and their willingness to make a conscious decision to tackle the internal hurdles affecting the overall development of Africa”, he stated.

However, the forensic investigation expert also urged African leaders to establish compliance culture in Post Covid-19 Era.

“Henceforth, leaders in Nigeria and the rest of African countries are encouraged to invest in compliance development mechanisms based on information data-based driving enforcement as a standard practice to alleviate the burden for leaders and subordinates ethical dilemmas by separating their objective and subjective responsibilities.

“Corporate and bureaucratic organizations should make unprecedented efforts to build risk management policies by establishing compliance and ethics and changing employee behavior by implementing a code of conduct.

“Leaders’ ability to institute and enforce compliance helps to bring about group identity and conformity to core values to achieve the organizational mission to ease the burden on the leadership as illustrated below: Compliance and Ethic Training Programs Development of Compliance and Ethics Policies and Procedures; Compliance Risk Identifications, Assessment and Monitoring; Code of conduct; Helpline Administration; and Enforcement of Compliance and ethics Policies and Procedures.

“Others include: Monitoring and Interpreting Development Relating to Compliance and applicable laws and regulations; Investigations; Managing Relationships with Regulations; and Record Management”, he added.

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