Working in Nigeria has many challenges, not least that bribery and corruption are so wide-spread. TASTE seeks to take a very clear stance – we want to be seen as an organisation that is explicitly Christian; one whose standards are the highest, in every aspect of our work; and an organisation that takes a zero-tolerance stance against corruption of any kind.
As Christians we believe that honesty, integrity and transparency are required of all of us by God.
“Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?” (Micah 6:11)
These standards have become the bedrock of stable societies the world over for past generations. TASTE is built on these standards – explicitly expressed in the Bible, but also supported by many secular organisations. These organisations would not describe themselves as Christian but implicitly express themselves in ways which are consistent with Christian teaching. We thank God for the work of Transparency International, who provide encouragement and tools for organisations seeking to work in ways that are open and honest.
TASTE does not seek to simply point the finger of blame from a position in neutral territory, taking the high moral ground! As an organisation that interacts with Nigerian society every minute of every day, with a team of more than a dozen local staff who constantly rub up against corruption in every form imaginable, TASTE is seeking to demonstrate in a very real and practical way that it is possible to work successfully without relying on bribery or corruption. We hope to become a flagship for integrity – showing others that Christian principles can make a difference in a corrupt society.
We are not perfect, nor would we ever claim to be infallible! We get things wrong – we have had to fire staff who were not following these principles. Perhaps, at times we have been too patient or not rigorous enough checking our systems. But, with God’s help, we aim to get it right far more often than we get it wrong; we want to honour the God whom we serve; and we want, with His help, to be a real example to those with whom we work.
Working in the drilling field does give us a real opportunity to stand out as an honest organisation. There are honest and decent drillers in Plateau but they are very few and far between. In the main, the term driller is a byword for dishonesty and deceit. See an unbelievable story from Kano State.