The need to urgently address integrity deficit and personal values amongst Nigerians is an ingredient that is required to combat corruption, Vice Chancellor of the Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Prof Sola Fajana has said.
While defining corruption as the subversion of public institutions, processes and goods for the benefit of a few persons or its associates, he added that substructure that fuels corruption indicates that it thrives where there is high percentage of ethical and moral deficit in the populace.
Fajana, who spoke at the 2016 management day lecture organised by Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) in Lagos at the weekend, stated that for Nigeria to develop, it must address its integrity deficit critically.
He said the issue of integrity comes to the fore if society is to be saved from annihilation on account of corrupt practices and a regime of widespread impunity.
Fajana who delivered a paper titled, ‘Assessment of integrity needs among professional managers in Nigeria’, said the lack of integrity and the preponderance of corruption is widely condemned at all levels in the country.
Integrity deficit is the inconsistency of actions, values, methods and principles of a person’s character.
According to him, the dynamic effects of integrity deficits leading to corruption affect the long run capacity of the country to achieve its potential.
“Integrity deficits inspire organisations to sabotage equipment of their competitors, engage unethical growth strategies and avoid taxes. Regulatory agencies create difficulties for doing business on account of the unethical behavior of officials,” he said.
He noted that integrity deficit is not strictly a Nigerian dilemma, hence national integrity is ultimately a professional obligation.
To restore integrity in the society, he proposed ‘catch them young’, model which requires effective reorientation of young children on values and socio-economic norms.
“For us to effectively deal with the many-headed monster of dishonesty, our educational institutions should be re-poised to be civic centres for conscience illumination, otherwise the destruction of our moral community will be unstoppable.
“If we can consider the young ones at the primary level it helps refer back to the socio-cultural environment, which already specify what we require to have integrity, fight corruption, to be transparent and to develop a meaningful and God fearing people.”
He noted that parents also have a role to play in such regards, saying, “they must model humane quality and effectively engage in value transmission. By stressing the primacy of integrity in our homes, we would raise a generation that leads as illuminated moral agents, not as insensate plunder of our commonwealth.”
Earlier in his address, President and Chairman of NIM (Chartered), Prof Munzali Jibril, proposed the declaration of November 19 as a world/international management day.
He said the Institute has written to the United Nations (UN) to effect the proposal, which in turn will give the celebration an international appeal and acceptability.
To this end, Jibril called on Federal Government to recognise and declare November 19 ‘Management Day’ in Nigeria.