Global Compact Network Nigeria urges businesses to adopt SDGs
By Adoba Echono, Abuja
The UN Global Compact Network, Nigeria is working to stimulate the creation of local connections, catalyse companies and stakeholders to adopt set targets to achieve Agenda 2030.
A board member of the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria & Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria, Mrs Uto Ukpanah stated this at the open house and on boarding session of the UN Global Compact Network, Nigeria in Lagos.
Mrs. Ukpanah noted that informative and inspiring discussion on The Business Case for Sustainability, theme, resonates with how to promote greater cross-functional collaboration in addressing some of the sustainability challenges.
Guided by the Ten Universal Principles and the 17 SDGs, she said “the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria supports companies and stakeholders in understanding what responsible business means within a global and local context.”
“Corporate sustainability, as we know it today, encompasses “a company’s long-term value in financial, environment, social, and ethical (or governance) terms,” Mrs.Ukpanah reiterated.
She said; “The Ten Principles have been adopted by over 10,000 companies that are signatories to the Global Compact, in which a lot of the multinationals present have their parent companies as members. And it is a call to action for us to do more.”
Mrs. Ukpanah explained that the SDGs, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), other regional sustainable development initiatives within regional economic blocs, Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 27) in Africa in 2022, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, have presented enormous opportunities, particularly in Nigeria, one of Africa’s largest economic Centres.
She, however, cautioned that many of these goals would not be met until the rate of growth is quickened, including slowing global warming, bridging the gender income gap, addressing corruption, and lowering the percentage of working poor people. And clearly business has a role to play.
Mrs. Ukpanah said “the United Nations Global Compact is a clarion call for inclusive multilateralism, which requires raised ambition and is an avenue for every business leader to support UN values anchored in a principle-based approach that places human rights at the heart of their business strategy.”
She said; “As for us, as a local network, we are pleased to see our member companies deeply committed to creating awareness and actualizing action on the ground with respect to our Ten Principles and the SDGs.
“We will continue to provide our participants with the connections and expertise required to drive sustainability at the national level. Achieving the SDGs by 2030 requires a transformation of businesses into principles-based and sustainable models, which will create significant investment opportunities for the private sector and institutional investors.”
In his presentation on Business Case for sustainability, the Chief Outreach and Engagement, United Nations Global Compact, Sue Allchurch said participants of the UN Global Compact performed much better than their peers.
The Chairman, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Olubunmi Fabamwo, said “the state is one of the most progressive states in Nigeria which have entrenched gender equality in our administration.”
The Open House was organised by the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact office, New York, with the theme; “The Business Case for Sustainability.”
It featured a panel discussion with deliberations on SDG-aligned business practices, a showcase of experiences, challenges, successes, new trends, and ambitions for Nigeria.