The Sustainability Hub over the week organised a webinar titled “The Union: Environmental Accountability and MSMEs” Towards the Sustainability of MSMEs. The event, which was sponsored by MacArthur Foundation and Accountability Lab held on 25th August 2020.
The Multi-stakeholder event with lots of participants featured Ms Victoria Akai, the Director-General of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Bankole Oloruntoba, the CEO of Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, and Ms Omojo Adaji, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer of Accountability Lab Nigeria.
Others are Mr Mimshach Obioha, the Executive Director of Ventures Platform Foundation, the Head of Marketing of Abuja Technology Village, and Mr Ibrahim Bashir. The Kogi State Coordinator of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Mr Tunde Adigun, represented the public sector.
The highlight of the Webinar by The Sustainability Hub
In case you missed the event, highlights of the discussion stem from the corporate sustainability survey conducted by The Sustainability Hub with support from Accountability Lab, which includes environmental governance and ease of doing business, eco-innovations, environmental accountability in start-ups and the transition to a zero-waste economy.
In her presentation, the representative of Accountability Lab Nigeria, Ms Omojo Adaji, charged everyone to view environmental stewardship as a collective responsibility as most human activities today have harmful effects on the environment as a result of our economic activities and day-to-day living. There is a limit to the natural resources available on the planet, and we have to take responsibility for sustainable resource management.
In her words, the DG of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ms Akai, highlighted the private sector’s efforts in complying with environmental regulations while suggesting policy recommendations to ease businesses in Nigeria. This is especially true as the gains made by better management and technology are still being outpaced by the environmental impacts of population and unsustainable economic growth.
The private sector is the key driver of economies and has a massive role in ensuring its activities have minimal impact on the environment. The balance in economic, social and environmental concerns was highlighted by The CEO of the NCIC. Mr Bankole emphasised the need to consider the financial implications of ecological and social relations to ensure the true sustainability of the ventures lest we plunge businesses into many problems.
Funding drives innovation. In the light of this, the Executive Director of Ventures Platform Foundation charged innovators to incorporate environmental sustainability into their creations to urge more funding. In the same vein, Mr Bashir of Abuja Technology Village gave examples of ways young entrepreneurs can infuse sustainability into their businesses.
Responding to the private sector’s concerns, the state coordinator of NESREA highlighted the efforts and challenges of the agency in policy formulation and implementation as well as other oversight functions. While the audience mentioned gaps such as enforcement and sanction in the work of NESREA, the coordinator stressed that the agency is working with the government to address the issues.
Entrepreneurs at the event were supported with strategies for effectively and efficiently managing the environment to make it better and more conducive for the present and future generations.
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