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Code of Conduct

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The Objective

To establish a set of principles and practices of the SOCIETY OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE OF NIGERIA (herein known as “THE SOCIETY”) that will be binding on all members, staff and associates.

For the purpose of clarity, ‘Members’ here include the Governing Body, Board of Trustees, Executive Council and other registered members in line with laid down procedures for registration. ‘Staff’ include persons employed or engaged informally for the day-to-day effective running of the Society or any other official engagement of the Society. ‘Associates’ on the other hand, include persons or corporate body connected to the Society or related by bloodline or business to any member or staff of the Society.

Code:

All members, staff and associates of the Society who are committed to observing and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct in the discharge of their responsibilities. All members, staff and associates pledge to accept this code as a minimum guideline for ethical conduct.

Introduction

The Society is a non-governmental and non-partisan organization duly registered under the enabling laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to The Society is fully committed to the principles of honesty, integrity and fair play in the delivery of services to the public. All members, staff and associates should ensure that the activities of the Society are dealt with in an open, fair and impartial manner.

This Code of Conduct establishes the guidelines for the behaviour of members, staff and associates during the execution of duties for and on behalf of the Society or at meetings and events organized by the Society, which shall include but not restricted to the use of abusive or demeaning words against any or all members, staff and associates of the Society.

SECTION 1

Professional Excellence

  1. Members, staff and associates shall maintain professional level of courtesy, respect, and objectivity in all the Society’s activities;

  2. Members, staff and associates shall strive to uphold those practices and assist other Society members and staff in upholding the highest standards of conduct.

  3. Members, staff or associates carrying out any form of personal and professional research or publication shall not be allowed to use the Society’s logo, trademark or copyrighted materials without obtaining the express and written consent of the Society’s Executive Council.

  4. Where an application for research grant is made to any institution by any member or staff, citing the Society’s name and associated trademark, such application shall first be submitted to the Executive Council through the office of the General Secretary of the Society for appraisal and possible approval or otherwise. provide a platform for networking amongst medical, health and wellness professionals in Nigeria, who are devoted to advancing the principles of Lifestyle Medicine as the main modality for prevention, treatment and often times, reversal of lifestyle related diseases.

SECTION 2

IBLM: Collaboration and Certification

  1. The INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE (the “IBLM”) is the international body charged with the onerous task of setting and maintaining standards for assessment and credentialing of physicians and PhD/Masters level health professionals in Lifestyle Medicine globally.

  2. The IBLM Certification (as echoed on its official web page: https://www.iblm.co) is co-issued with recognized continental and country lifestyle medicine Associations and Societies.

  3. The SOCIETY OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE OF NIGERIA (the “Society”) is the only legally recognized Society for Lifestyle Medicine in Nigeria. Therefore, all communications with the IBLM should be routed through the Society’s National Executive Council.

  4. All persons intending to take the examinations are required to be in ‘good standing’ with the Society and obtain clearance from same. Without any equivocation, the Society shall determine from time to time what a good standing represents. This includes but not restricted to the records of the applicants before it.

SECTION 3

Acceptance of Advantages

  1. It is the policy of this Society to prohibit all staff, members or associates from soliciting any advantage from any person or organization having business or other dealings with the Society (e.g. suppliers, contractors). Staff, member or associate who wish to accept any advantage from such person(s) should seek special permission from the Head, Code of Conduct Committee prior to the acceptance.

  2. Any gift(s) offered voluntarily to the staff, member or associate in their official capacity are regarded as gifts to the Society and they should not be accepted without permission. Staff, member or associate should decline the offer if the acceptance could affect their objectivity in conducting the Society’s business, or induce them to act against the interest of the Society, or lead to complaints of bias or impropriety.

  1. For gifts which are presented to staff, members or associates in their official capacity and of nominal value (below N2,000), the refusal of which could be seen as unsociable or impolite (e.g. an award plaque presented to a staff or member during a seminar in which he or she is invited to be the guest speaker), the Executive Council has given a blanket permission for the staff or member to accept these gifts. In other circumstances, the staff, member or associate should apply in writing to the Executive Council for permission to accept the gifts. Each application should be carefully considered by the Code of Conduct Committee, saddled with the power to consider such applications. Proper records of these applications should be kept showing the name of the applicant, the occasion of the offer, the nature and estimated value of the gift, and whether permission has been granted for the applicant to retain the gift or other directions have been given to dispose of the gift. Possible ways of disposal of such gifts are listed at Appendix 2.

  2. There is however no restriction on the acceptance of advantages, in the staff’s [et al] private capacity, from any person who does not have any official dealings with the organization. In case of doubt, the staff, member or associate should refer the matter to the Head, Code of Conduct Committee for advice and instruction.

SECTION 4

Conflict of Interest

  1. A conflict of interest situation arises when the “private interests” of the member, staff or associate compete or conflict with the interests of the Society. “Private interests” means both the financial and personal interests of the member, staff or associate or those of their connections including but not restricted to:

    1. family and other relations;

    2. personal friends;

    3. the clubs, associations or societies to which they belong; and

    4. any person to whom they owe a favour or are obligated in any way.

  2. Provisions of sub (1)(a) above may be relaxed where it is established by the Society that notwithstanding the conflict in affinity, competence and avowed commitment to the Society’s ideals shall be the hallmark for job or other official considerations.

  1. Staff, members or associates should avoid using their official position or any information made available to them in the course of their duties to benefit themselves, their relations or any other person(s) with whom they have personal or social ties. They should avoid putting themselves in a position that may lead to an actual or perceived conflict of interest with the Society, such as setting up and engaging a rival group on social and related media or registering same at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) [or other legally recognized institution] with the same objectives and goals of the Society. Failure to declare any conflict of interest, the member, staff or associate in question may be made to face the Code of Conduct Committee or the matter, if considered severe and extreme, be referred to the designated law enforcement agency. If found guilty after due investigation, such a member shall be considered ‘expelled’ from the Society with immediate effect. If a staff, a ‘dismissal’ and if an associate, an appropriate disciplinary measure shall be considered by the Executive Council Appendix 3 provides some examples of conflict of interest situations which may be encountered by staff or member.

  2. When called upon to deal with matters of the Society for which there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest, the affected staff, member or associate shall be recused from decision-making, pending the outcome of investigation by the Code of Conduct Committee.

  3. On an annual basis, all members, staff and engaged associates shall sign a ‘Declare Conflict of Interest’ Form.

SECTION 5

Entertainment

1. For the purpose of this section, ‘Entertainment’ refers to food or drink provided for immediate consumption and any other entertainment provided at the same time. Members and Staff are to conform with the pillars of Lifestyle Medicine and acceptable social norms of the Nigerian state.

2. While entertainment is an acceptable form of social behaviour and is not an “advantage”, members, staff or associates must not accept lavish or frequent entertainment from persons with whom the Society has official dealings (e.g. suppliers or contractors), so that they will not be placed in a position of obligation to the offeror.

SECTION 6

Misuse of Official Position

Members or staff who misuse their official position for personal gains or to favour their relatives or friends are liable to disciplinary action or even prosecution within the ambit of the extant laws of Nigeria. Examples of misuse include a member or staff responsible for the selection of suppliers, giving undue favour or leaking vital information to his relative’s company or organization with a view to awarding the contract to the latter or the use of information available to him or her to aid his or her personal ambition or business to the detriment of the Society, staff or other members.

SECTION 7

Handling of Classified or Proprietary Information

  1. Members, staff and associates are not allowed to disclose any classified or proprietary information belonging to the Society or any member, staff and associate of the Society to anybody, group of persons (whether on the social or other media known to law) or the public without authorization from the Governing Body or the individual(s) whose personal information would be made public. Members or staff who have access to or are in control of such information should at all times provide adequate safeguards to prevent its abuse or misuse. Examples of misuse include but not restricted to the disclosure of information in return for monetary rewards, or use of information for personal interest or gain.

  2. Unauthorized disclosure of any personal data of individual(s) or the Society is an offence which is subject to disciplinary action by the Code of Conduct Committee of the Society and may also result in a breach of the NIGERIA DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (2019) and other extant and allied laws in Nigeria with a consequential legal action in court.

  3. Unauthorized tapping of phone calls and recording of any form during constituted meetings of the Society is a violation of the Society’s Code of Conduct. Use or non-use of such unauthorized recordings shall be considered a breach as enunciated in Sub (2) above. Alleged violators will be SUSPENDED, pending the outcome of investigation by the Code of Conduct Committee. If found culpable, the violator(s) will be expelled from the Society and possible legal action taken against the individual(s).

SECTION 8

Property of the Society

Members, staff and associates given access to any property of the Society should ensure that it is properly used for the purpose of conducting the Society’s business. Misappropriation of the Society’s property for personal use or resale is strictly prohibited, with an attendant legal consequence.

SECTION 9

Outside Employment

Staff who wish to take up paid employment outside the Society, but in Nigeria, including those on a part-time basis, must seek the written approval of the Society before accepting the job. Applications for outside work should be made to the Executive Council for consideration. Approval will not be given if the outside work is in conflict with the interest of the organization.

SECTION 10

Integrity in Fund Raising

  1. All funds raised in the name or by the influence of the Society must be deposited in full to the Society’s purse within 48 hours. No person is authorized to raise funds. However, to have its integrity in check, the Society shall appoint individuals or set up a committee for fundraising, who are expected to possess the following innate qualities:

    1. A full knowledge and understanding of the Society’s ideals and objectives;

    2. ability to motivate;

    3. perseverance; and

    4. the availability to work.

  2. Under the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, any member, staff or associate who solicits or accepts an advantage in connection with his or her duty or in connection with sub-paragraph (1) above without the knowledge and authority of the Executive Council shall be guilty of an offence. The term “advantage” is expressly defined under Appendix 1 of this Code of Conduct.

SECTION 11

Compliance with the Code

  1. It is the personal responsibility of every staff, member and associate to understand and comply with the Code of Conduct.

  2. All designated officers should also in their daily supervisory role, ensure that their subordinates understand and comply with the standards and requirements stated in the Code. Any problem encountered as well as any suggestions should be channelled to the Executive Council for consideration and advice.

  3. Any staff or member who violates any provision of the Code will be subject to disciplinary action. In cases of suspected corruption or other criminal offences, a report will be made to the Executive Council by the Code of Conduct Committee for necessary disciplinary action, which may, subject to the severity of the offence, involve the relevant law enforcement agency.

SECTION 12

Non-Compete

  1. Where a member, staff or associate is disengaged, resigns, expelled or dismissed from the Society, he or she shall respect the confidentiality of the Society’s trademarks, copyrighted materials, and other matters of the Society within his or her personal knowledge and further undertake not to:

    1. (a)  make use of any of the Society’s resource or research done in the course of his or her engagement with the Society while employed or engaged by a competitor [or rival group] of the Society;

    2. (b)  compete with the Society for a period of 5 years, within a 4 Kilometer radius of the Society’s Head Office, located at A8, Barumack Estate, Wuye, Abuja or any other location of the Society. This period shall take effect from the date of expulsion, disengagement, resignation or dismissal.

  2. Where any part of sub (1) above is breached, the violator(s) shall be made to face the full weight of the extant laws in Nigeria.

Appendix 1

“Advantage” means:

  1. (a)  any gift, loan, fee, reward or commission consisting of money or of any valuable security or of other property or interest in property of any description;

  2. (b)  any office, employment or contract;

  3. (c)  any payment, release, discharge or liquidation of any loan, obligation or other liability, whether in whole or in part;

  4. (d)  any other service, or favour (other than entertainment), including protection from any penalty or disability incurred or apprehended or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary, civil or criminal nature, whether or not already instituted;

  5. (e)  the exercise or forbearance from the exercise of any right or any power or duty; and

(f)  any offer, undertaking or promise, whether conditional or unconditional, of any advantage within the meaning of any of the preceding paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e).

Appendix 2

Ways To Dispose Of Gifts Presented To A
Staff, Member Or Associate In His Or Her Official Capacity.

  1. (a)  If the gift is of perishable nature (e.g. food or drink), it may be shared among members, staff and associates or during an activity organized by a service unit of the Society.

  2. (b)  If the gift is a useful and non-edible item, it may be sent to the relevant unit of the Society or for any other beneficial use to the Society.

  3. (c)  If the gift is of historical or other interest, it may be sent to a library or museum.

  4. (d)  If the gift is suitable for display (e.g. a painting, vase, etc.), it may be retained for display in the recipient’s office or elsewhere in the Society’s office complex.

Appendix 3

Examples of Conflict of Interest Situations

  1. (a)  A member or staff takes part in the selection of suppliers or contractors, one of the bidders under consideration being his family member, relative or close personal friend.

  2. (b)  A member or staff has a financial interest in a company which is being considered for selection as the Society’s supplier of goods or services.

  3. (c)  A member or staff accepts frequent or lavish entertainment or expensive gifts from the Society’s suppliers or contractors.

  4. (d)  A member or staff serves as a member of the Society’s recruitment or promotion committee or unit, and one of the candidates under consideration by the board is his or her family member, relative or close personal friend. However, the Society shall have recourse to the applicant’s competence and avowed commitment to the Society’s ideals for possible employment or engagement.

  5. (e)  A member or staff sets up and engages a rival group on social and related media or registers same at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) [or other legally recognized institution] with the same objectives and goals of the Society.

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