Guinness Nigeria Plc, a leader in the Nigerian manufacturing industry and subsidiary of the world’s number one premium drinks company, Diageo Plc, will again demonstrate its sustained commitment to good corporate governance by signing up to the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi). The company not only has an outstanding track record as a brewer of unmatched quality but also as a leading ethical business in Nigeria. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1965, it is one of the oldest publicly quoted blue-chip companies in the country, and will be the first in the brewing industry to sign onto the Convention on Business Integrity.
The CBi was established in 1997 to empower businesses in Nigeria to tackle corruption and corrupt practices. Its vision is to move the Nigerian society towards a state of zero tolerance for corruption. To this end, the organization works to promote viable alternatives to corrupt practices and is a leading facilitator of research projects, conferences, workshops and round-table discussions on corporate governance and compliance issues. By signing onto the CBi, Guinness Nigeria will be expected to live up to a Code of Business Integrity and will periodically undergo external checks to ensure that it adheres to the principles to which it has signed up. Notable Nigerians including CBi’s Chairman, His Excellency Dr. Christopher Kolade, doyen of accounting Mr. Akintola Williams, former Attorney General of Lagos State, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, and Professor Pat Utomi, all signed onto the Convention as individual members in 1997. Guinness Nigeria will join a notable coalition of private sector signatories including SAP AG, Oando Plc, GT Bank, Prima Garnet Ogilvy Group, MTN Nigeria Limited, Business Day and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, among others.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of Guinness Nigeria Plc to the Convention on Business Integrity on Thursday 15th September 2011 in Lagos, Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc Devlin Hainsworth, said: “At Guinness Nigeria, we believe in building and sustaining a robust compliance culture in our organization and business transactions. We are proud of what we do, and we are proud to do it in the right way”. Emphasizing the company’s belief in the importance of high moral and ethical standards in sustainable business growth, he added “I believe the success of Guinness Nigeria is not only founded on the commitment and hard work of our dedicated staff, suppliers, distributors and partners, but also on the values of transparency and integrity which underpin our every business transaction”.
Also present at the event, CEO of Diageo Plc, Paul Walsh who added: “The Diageo Code of Business Conduct guides all our business practices worldwide, and provides a global reference point for us on issues of compliance and ethics in our daily business transactions. For us, it is not just a Code; it fundamentally informs the way we work every day, everywhere”
Reacting to Guinness Nigeria’s membership, Executive Director of CBi, Soji Apampa, said: “The CBi is a voluntary initiative which brings a company into fellowship with other companies, organisations and individuals interested in collective action in the fight against corruption. The signing ceremony represents a major milestone for any company and we are delighted to welcome Guinness Nigeria into the fold today”. Mr. Sesan Sobowale, Director, Corporate Relations at Guinness Nigeria further added: “This is a remarkable day for our company. As we sign onto CBi, we confirm our commitment to abide by the shared values outlined in the Code and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with CBi”.
The event was widely attended by leaders of the business community including Director General of SEC – Arunma Oteh, Akintola Williams, Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc – Alan Palmer, Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria Plc – Martin Woolnaugh, Company Secretary of Oando Plc – Oredeji Delano, Managing Partner of SO & U Saatchi – Mr Udeme Ufot, key distributors and suppliers of Guinness Nigeria and other members of the CBi.
Photos from the signing ceremony with Convention for Business Integrity (CBi)