LAGOS, NIGERIA–MAY 17, 2022 The CEOs Breakfast Roundtable was held early on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, as a precursor to the launch of the United Nations Global Compact Africa Strategy and the Africa Regional Hub, scheduled to take place in Abuja on May 19th.
High-level stakeholders, including CEOs of member and non-member organisations, bureaucrats, senior officials of the United Nations, and representatives of other UN Agencies, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, met at the MTN Plaza, Lagos, Nigeria.
Flora Mutahi, Board Member, United Nations Global Compact, who represented the Assistant Secretary-General & CEO of the United Nations Global Compact, Sanda Ojiambo, while delivering her open address, expressed that leaders need to change the narrative of Africa by dealing with the root causes.
Matthias Schmale, Resident Coordinator, United Nations, made a clarion call to the CEOs to ensure that no one is left behind. He reminded business leaders that public-private partnerships go beyond money and are about creating a more conducive environment by realizing global principles grouped into human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
In her remarks to guests at the event, Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria and Chair, African Regional Network Council- United Nations Global Compact, said that the essence of the Breakfast Roundtable was to get CEOs to buy into the United Nations Global Compact’s Africa Strategy and take up responsible business practices, saying that there is a need for urgent action to drive inclusive, sustainable, and resilient growth in Africa.
“The United Nations Global Compact is working to secure the commitment of Nigeria’s private sector leaders to the implementation of the Africa Strategy.”
“It will also provide a platform for participants to strengthen partnerships, develop opportunities for collaboration, and advance their commitments to the Ten Principles,” she said.
Carl Cruz, Managing Director, Unilever West Africa, noted that events such as this not only remind him of the great imperative for action, to protect and preserve our world but also demonstrate that there is still hope for the future of Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.
“We all need to align our practices for a sustainable and inclusive future.”
“There is no better time than now to have a broad discussion on the importance of strengthening collaborative efforts to implement the SDGs here in Nigeria is clear – we have seen some collaborative efforts emerging between companies locally and we would like to advocate for more between member companies within the Local Network,” he added.
The CEO of MTN, a member of the UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, represented by the Chief Marketing Officer, Adia Sowho, conveyed her joy with the company’s involvement as a part of the global course for sustainable development goals in Africa.
A discussion panel which was moderated by Ayotola Jagun, Board Member, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria & Chief Compliance Officer/ Company Secretary, Oando Plc, had prominent industry leaders who held a dialogue on “The Private Sector: The Exigency of its Collaboration to the Sustainability of Africa”. They include Amy Jadesimi, CEO, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) Amina Oyagbola, Founder, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), Temi Popoola, CEO of Nigerian Exchange Limited, and Alfred Olajide, Vice President & General Manager, Nigeria Operations, The Coca-Cola Company.
In attendance were Laoye Jaiyeola, Vice Chair, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria & CEO, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Oluwasoromidayo George, Board Chair, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, and Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainable Business, Unilever Nigeria Plc, and Uto Ukpanah, Board Member, UN Global Compact Network Nigeria & Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria Plc.
About The UN Global Compact Network Nigeria
The United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria is one of the 71 local networks (country office) of the UN Global Compact.
Guided by The Ten Principles and the 17 SDGs, we support companies and stakeholders in understanding what responsible business means within a global and local context and provide guidance to translate sustainability commitments into action. The UN Global Compact Network Nigeria stimulates and facilitates the creation of local connections and serves as a catalyst to companies and stakeholders to achieve Agenda 2030.