Moderated by the founder of Rise Networks -Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji via Zoom on Wednesday, at the Lafarge Africa’s “A Decade for Action Accelerating the SDG’s in a Post Pandemic Era” themed sustainability webinar series, speaking on the topic, “Corporate Social Investments, Shared Value and National Development – Which Way Forward?” panelists; including Resident Representative at UNDP Nigeria Mohamed Yahya, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments Maryam Uwais, as well as the CEO of Lafarge Africa Khaled El Dokani, took a fierce stand on the role of data in the attainment of Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.
Mr. Yahya, waving the digital intelligence flag even further, said that the UNDP – which rolled out the 17 SDGs in 2015 – due to data meticulously collected, is soon to release a new application that will track the progress and implementation of the SDGs in African countries. He also told the virtual crowd to look at the opportunities that came with the coronavirus, which brought life as we’ve known it to a halt globally leading to the Nigerian government to implement draconian lockdowns to curb its spread in the first quarter of this year. “We should see #COVID19 as an opportunity for transformation in Nigeria,” he said during the virtual session. “It’s only through crisis we can re-imagine a better future.”
Mrs. Uwais said that the federal government is seeking to provide 5 million Nigerians with basic livelihood supplies. She also added that the government is coming to the awareness of the need to partner with private big pockets in achieving its goals. She continued saying that the government is committed to collecting accurate data to achieve unprecedented results.
Speaking on the role of the private sector, Mr. El Dokani countered the notion that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should be perceived as a passion project by private organizations. He said very brazenly while speaking on the reason Lafarge is organizing the webinar series that CSR should be more than just a passion project of companies. He said that is should instead be part of the values of institutions.