Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, on Tuesday emphasised the need to inculcate strong corporate governance principles and practices into youths.
He said that this would help in entrenching viable, sustainable institutions.
Elumelu spoke at the 2021 Institute of Directors (IoD) Annual Directors’ Conference, with the theme: “Creating the Future: Deepening the Corporate Governance Practice through Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Generational Collaborations”.
He said that strong corporate governance systems enabled lasting businesses, while the absence destroyed institutions and led to corporate failures.
Elumelu charged young businesses and startups to adopt proper monitoring, mentoring, strong ethical standard, with focus on personal and corporate legacy to enable lasting structures.
“We must think of giving back in form of knowledge and experience if we want to see young ones rise and overtake what we have today.
“Young ones must understand that they should not cut corners and must consider long term development while the older generation must show the millennials the way to go by walking the talk and showing the example.
“Corporate governance is about structure, rules, regulations; the lack of which can destroy institutions.
“When you hear that a large company has suddenly failed or is faced with crisis, there’s corporate governance lapses,” he said.
Elumelu said that all organisations must have strategic intent to succeed, and this would be achieved via strict adherence to corporate governance principles as the basic foundations.
“When you are a small institution, there is the tendency to overlook corporate governance, but when you do not build from there from day one, you may not be able to along the line.
“When your institution gets bigger, the principles and fundamentals are already in place to drive through to corporate success,” he said.
The business mogul tasked young companies to make the right, objective decisions, devoid of sentiments, to drive business sustainability.
He stressed that board composition, decision and diversity of start-ups and large corporates must be in alignment with company’s short, medium and long term goals to achieve success.
“You must not undermine the process but build the culture of meritocracy and accountability as we need the nomenclature of corporates to be strong and built on corporate governance principles.
“You must always consider the five constituencies of customers, shareholders, staff, regulators and person in making business decisions.
“To be continuously successful is to be driven by core values, ethics and standard practices,” he said.
Elumelu commended the IoD for continuous steps in nourishing the minds of Nigerians on sound corporate governance systems towards economic inclusiveness, growth and development.