Plans to set up Nigerian Business Council underway

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A group of 31 topline industry captains in Nigeria, led by the managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), have agreed to set up a council for sustainable development which will be affiliated to the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
The CEOs, who met during a roundtable called in Lagos early in the week, said there is need for the establishment of a common platform that will enable them to jointly promote sustainable development initiatives and programmes across the country.
The proposed council will work to arouse the interest of the Nigerian business community towards taking collective action for a sustainable future for society.

The Managing Director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, who hosted the talk, expressed optimism that Nigerian companies support sustainability programmes in their respective areas of influence.
He regretted however that “however, no platform currently exists for businesses across all industries to share experiences, best practices, and advocate for business positions that transform lives and communities from what they are today to the greatness they can be, tomorrow. If there is one area we do not need to compete as businesses, it is in the goodness of our heart to our society and environment.”

The CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Bola Adesola, described the idea as innovative and desirable. “It is important that the organised private sector show interest in the challenging operating business environment.”
Chairman, Promasidor Nigeria Ltd, Chief Keith Richards, expressed hope that the Nigerian industry captains can now look forward to contributing and devoting time and energy in actualising the goals of “the intervention which will impact Nigerians positively and sustain business development.”
A lecturer at the Lagos Business School, Sir Chris Ogbechie, had earlier made a presentation in which he outlined the justification and modalities for setting up the council.

The gathering agreed that there would be a governing council to oversee the organisation, comprising CEOs of member companies and reputable international business figures which will be committed to driving a positive sustainable future for society and the rapid development of the economy.
Rising from the roundtable, many companies volunteered to work towards the establishment of the business council. Companies represented included Accenture, Coca-Cola, Empretec Nigeria Foundation, Etisalat, First Bank, Flourmills of Nigeria, Heirs Holdings, Intel Corporation, Interswitch, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, the First Bank CSR Centre, BusinessDay newspapers, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, Oando Gas and Power, UBA Group, Seplat Petroleum, Chevron, Stanbic IBTC, Afren Nigeria, Access Bank and Nigerian Breweries.

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