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U.S. firms spend N1.5bn on CSR in Nigeria in 2017 – Official

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L-R: Brent Omdahl, U.S Commercial Counsellor, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Dr Lazarus Angbazo, Chief Executive Officer, General Electric (GE) Nigeria, Russell Brooks, Public Affairs Officer, U.S Consulate, and Ms Joyce Akpata, Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), .

 

Dr Lazarus Angbazo, President, American Business Council (ABC), on Wednesday said that American companies spent about N1.5 billion on Corporate Social  Responsibility (CSR) projects in Nigeria in 2017.

Angbazo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Nigeria, spoke in Lagos at the November Edition of Breakfast Meeting of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC).

Theme of the meeting was: “Beyond Business: The Social Impact of American Businesses in Nigeria.”

“ U.S companies spent N1.5 billion on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from N217 million spent in 2016.

“The focus areas are Education, Health, Infrastructure and Social intervention, which are key area of focus for U.S companies in Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, the notion of social impact goes beyond philanthropy and volunteerism,  saying  that value chain development through SMEs is the way to lift a country economically.

“Asides providing direct employment in Nigeria, we are actively developing SMEs to be part of our supply chain, because SMEs cannot grow without the experience, capacity and off take support of global companies.

“We get to spread inclusivity in the economy because local companies will hire from their local communities and they will specialise in that area; that is the way to think about long term sustainable industrialisation,” he said.

Angbazo said that over N1.6 billion was expended on training and development in 2017 from N340 million in 2016, which shows U.S companies commitment in capacity building to correct the deficit in Nigeria’s labour skills.

He said that U.S companies created about 11, 200 indirect jobs and over 9, 000 full time jobs in 2017 toward reducing Nigeria’s unemployment rate.

Also, Brent Omdahl, a U.S Commercial Counsellor, said that the advice of U.S Government to potential and existing companies to Nigeria and Africa was to utilise the solution-based approach in their investment strategy.

Omdahl said that investment should not be profit centered alone, but on impacting the socioeconomic landscape of the host economies through value addition, job creation, technology transfer and skills upgrade.

Mr Adil Farhat, the Managing Director, Procter & Gamble, said that the company had been in Nigeria for over 25 years and working assiduously to ensure that its various brands have positive socioeconomic impact on all sectors of its operation.

Farhat said that P&G trained over 100 SME operators in business development, products expansion and profit enhancement strategy to boost SME development.

Also, Mr Innocent Chukwuma, the Director, West Africa, Ford Foundation, said that the foundation does catalytic investment in areas that large organisations would not venture into.

“Our grant support of 150,000 dollars to drive social impact and enhance productivity of Made in Nigeria products among Aba leather manufacturers made Bank of Industry (BoI) to commit N400 million to support the project,” he said.

Chukwuma said that the foundation would embark on one billion dollar mission support projects to provide finance at below one per cent to entrepreneurs in the areas of affordable housing and renewable energy.

Earlier, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), said that it was becoming clear that the traditional ways of solving problems through government alone was not effective.

He said that global companies were challenging the notion of profit first, saying that while profit making was good, the social impact was more beneficial to transform citizens, communities and socio-economic development. (NAN)

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NGOs - SDGs

IWD 2021: Temi Marcella Awogboro Choosing To Challenge Gender Bias and Inequality

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Temi Marcella Awogboro, Investor, Board Director & Founding Executive Director, Evercare (Source: Temi Marcella Awogboro)

IWD 2021: As an investor in the healthcare industry, I have witnessed first hand how women have stood at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators and as some of the most exemplary and effective leaders in combating the pandemic. It is no coincidence that the countries most successful in stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to its health and broader socio-economic impacts, have been led by women.

However, the COVID-19 crisis has sadly highlighted both the centrality of the contributions of women, as well as the disproportionate burdens that they carry and the inadequate representation of women at the highest levels of decision making. Furthermore, in addition to persistent pre-existing social and systemic barriers to women’s participation and leadership, new barriers have emerged in the form of increased domestic violence, unpaid care duties, unemployment and poverty.

I strongly believe the unique experiences and perspectives of women are critical in the formulation of decisions, policies and laws that work  for all. In light of this, I choose to continue to challenge inequality, subvert the status quo, be courageous in calling out bias,and questioning stereotypes, and to mobilize capital to forge an inclusive world. IWD 2021 #ChooseToChallenge

 

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NGOs - SDGs

IWD 2021: Oyetola Oduyemi Choosing To Challenge Gender Bias and Inequality

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Oyetola Oduyemi, Director, Public Affairs (Africa Region) The END Fund (Source: Oyetola Oduyemi)

IWD 2021: I am glad to lend my voice to this celebration of women everywhere, on this auspicious occasion of the annual International Women’s Day commemoration, 2021. I celebrate both women winning, and women struggling but pushing through. I identify with women that have borne the brunt of the ongoing pandemic – combining tough work deadlines with home-schooling children and family members. I empathize with women living in an inequitable world, and dealing with bias and exclusion, in different forms and with various nuances. We will keep hope alive and continue to work on co-creating a future full of promise for all, regardless of gender, circumstances of birth, colour of skin, or any other division.

As we commemorate this day IWD 2021 also, please remember that women are disproportionately affected by neglected tropical diseases – physically, socially, and economically. Women are biologically vulnerable, physically impacted and socially subjugated as a result of these neglected diseases; and nowhere is this truer than in Africa. I urge us all to apply gender equity lens, even as we join hands to tackle these neglected diseases.

Sustainable Development Goal 3.3 is underpinned by the principle of leaving no one behind; and SDG 5 calls for not only an end to discrimination against women everywhere, but also empowerment of all women, regardless of their socio-economic status. Together, we can and indeed should collaborate, to bring these goals to life. As we work to build back better in a post-COVID world, strengthening universal health systems, renewing commitments and galvanizing action to promote healthy lives and wellbeing for all, let us also work to end neglected tropical diseases as public health concerns. Specifically, let’s #choosetochallenge the status quo of women’s inordinate vulnerability to these diseases, and choose instead to protect women’s rights to freedom from neglected tropical diseases, and need to enjoy good health.

I choose to raise my hand and voice in this call to action for protecting women from the suffering caused by neglected diseases. I choose to raise my hand to help forge an inclusive world, free of neglected tropical diseases. As it is said, ‘from challenge comes change. So, let’s all #choosetochallenge.

 

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NGOs - SDGs

Sahara Group Leverages Transformative Innovation For Sustainable Performance

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Sahara Group Team (Source: Sahara Group)

Sahara Group, an Energy Conglomerate has released its 2019 Sustainability Report which reflects its commitment to achieving its corporate goals and creating shared value for stakeholders through economic development, protection of the environment and building a sustainable society.

Tagged ‘Transformative Innovation’, the report highlights how Sahara continues to leverage innovation and technology in achieving its corporate goals and sustainability ambitions across its businesses in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, Pearl Uzokwe, said the Group had continued to foster partnerships and initiatives that have co-created a desirable future through innovation.

Uzokwe said: “We have aligned our business operations within our entities with the demands and expectations of our changing world – digitization – which in turn increases our competitive advantage for sustainable growth. Beyond measuring our performance in numbers and outcome, we have raised our lever of sustainability excellence by committing to more strategic partnerships and setting targets to achieve sustainable development from the micro to global scale.”

She said Sahara had aligned its operations and processes in furtherance of the urgent global transition to cleaner energy and low-carbon solutions. *Sahara entered an MoU with the United Nations Development Programme in 2019 to provide access to affordable and sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa. This is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 7. During the year, we were pivotal to the success of the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and joined hands with other stakeholders in  advancing the mission of the African Influencers for Development (AI4Dev), World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and other institutions in providing a better quality of life to the world.”

According to Uzokwe, Sahara launched its Green Life Initiative in 2019 in line with its commitment to fostering sustainable environments via the protection of the environment, promotion of a circular economy and recycling of waste within and outside our business. “Among other activities, we established a Recycling Exchange Hub in the Ijora Oloye community and executed upcycling vocational training for the conversion of tyres to usable products. In delivering more environmentally friendly fuels, we committed to complying with the African Refiners & Distributors Association (ARA) standards – the only pan-African organization for the African downstream oil sector – in 2019, as we expanded our investment in the supply of cleaner energy in the form of gas, particularly LPG’” she added.

Sahara is a foremost provider of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Africa through West Africa Gas Limited, a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). WAGL operates two 38,000 cbm LPG vessels, MT Africa Gas and Sahara Gas that are driving LPG access, security, and stability in Africa. Both vessels have supplied approximately 500,000 MT of LPG across regional markets since their acquisition in 2017. Sahara Group’s 2019 Sustainability Report reflects our economic, social, and environmental activities from January 1 to December 31, 2019. The report is our fifth sustainability report, and our fourth report written in line with the GRI standard. The 2019 Sustainability Report has been organized and presented in accordance with the Sustainability Reporting Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The guidelines seek to achieve consistency amongst corporations reporting on their sustainability activities.

Please click here to access the sustainability report.

Sahara Group

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