December 10, 2019
According to the United Nations, every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance.
December 9 every year, the world commemorates anti-corruption day to take a stand against corruption as a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.
As a leading private sector company in the energy space, we understand that corruption is a complex phenomenon that slows economic development because it discourages foreign direct investments and small businesses often find it difficult to overcome the start-up costs required because of corruption.
Over the last years, Sahara has been involved in initiatives, alliances and activities aimed at developing and strengthening its corporate governance and compliance systems. Some of these alliances include our partnership with the World Economic Forum – Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI).
Sahara was inducted into the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) Community in 2015 to reflect the organization’s commitment to eliminating corruption from the business environment. In 2016, Sahara as a PACI member has contributed to series of dialogues including the conference on Building Transparency and Integrity in Business as well as the role of Youth Engagement in stamping out corruption – using Nigeria and Mexico as the model countries to drive the agenda.
In a similar vein, Sahara organised whistle-blowing workshops for employees across the Group to raise awareness on how corruption hampers business growth and how staff can work together to help stop corruption in the work place and also build trust. Sahara Group also enacted a whistle blowing policy that will help improve transparency of business across her entities. This is a third party operated technology driven whistle-blowing platform launched in 2019.
In 2016, Sahara Group in partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) business leaders from the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and the Penn Law, University of Pennsylvania law School published a report titled ‘Business and SDG 16- contributing to Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies’ to analyze why SDG 16 is relevant the private sector and how businesses can contribute to anticorruption, peace and justice.
Some of the recommendations include private sector companies enhancing their compliance capabilities, while establishing strong and credible internal processes to curb corruption.
Sahara Group and/or its affiliates hold corporate ethical values and its brand in the highest esteem and passionately conducts business in a corrupt- free, anti-fraud and highly ethical manner that promotes free enterprise, excellence and competitiveness. In view of this, we are determined to maintain our reputation as a corporate entity which will not tolerate fraud, bribery, corruption or the abuse of position for personal gain. Our other policies that speak to the anti-corruption cause include:
- Third party non- solicitation policy
- Business transaction and relations character
- Anti- corruption and anti-bribery policy
- Whistle blowing policy
- Gift and hospitality policy
This year’s anticorruption day theme ‘Time to Work Against Corruption and the Climate Crisis’ calls for mobilization for ambitious climate action and inspiring governments, businesses, civil society organizations and individuals to step up efforts towards transparency, accountability and integrity.
At Sahara, we remain committed to our tenets of integrity and ethical behavior by ensuring a zero tolerance for corruption.