Legal Executive enlightens Mechanical Engineering Students on Corporate Governance
The Guest Lecturer at the recent Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Covenant University, Mrs. Sophia Abiri-Franklin, has urged engineers to comply with all relevant laws, regulations and the provisions of the Code of Corporate Governance, especially as it relates to ethical conduct.
The Managing Partner, Georgetown Solicitors, Lagos, gave this recommendation amongst others while delivering a lecture titled ‘Applying the Code of Corporate Governance to Engineering Practice: Building an Ethical Culture’, on Thursday, October 31, 2019, at the Conference Hall of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
Mrs. Abiri-Franklin, who defined corporate governance as the system by which corporate organizations were directed and controlled, and ethical conduct as moral principles governing a human behavior or the conduct of an activity, described Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a self-regulating process that helped a corporate organization to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.
The Guest Lecturer highlighted the functions of effective corporate governance as efficiency, accountability, transparency, responsiveness, participatory, inclusivity, consensus-oriented, and following rule of law. She posited that the establishment of professional business and ethical standards underscored the values for the protection and enhancement of the reputation of the company while promoting good conduct and investor confidence, just as the establishment of policies and mechanisms for monitoring insider trading, related party transactions, conflict of interest and other corrupt activities, mitigated the adverse effects of these abuses on the company and promoted good ethical conduct and investor confidence.
The principles of corporate governance, she noted, could be applied in the workplace, in the field (projects), relating with client, and the need to give back (CSR). The ethical conduct for engineers, according to her, were to lead from the top, develop healthy policies- codes on ethics, anti-corruption, CSR, set up a monitoring system, set up a whistle blowing policy and process, organize training, and ensure that adequate reward system was put in place to reward ethical behaviours that aligned with the company’s risk appetite.
In other recommendations, Mrs. Abiri-Franklin stated that professionals in general and engineers in particular should always have public interest at the center of their practice; accountability, transparency, integrity and complete disclosure should be exhibited by engineers in all areas of their practice; and engineers should constantly upgrade their professional knowledge and skills in light of current development in engineering practice globally amongst others.
Mrs. Abiri-Franklin averred that if the principles of Corporate Governance were properly applied in engineering practice, it would not only enhance the image of the profession but would also widen the investment and collaboration opportunities within and outside the engineering. profession.