The Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, has expressed support for the 2020 Corporate Sustainable Investor Report (CSIR), a research document that analyses the sustainability progress of companies in Nigeria.
The CSIR is a multi-stakeholder developed report led by CSR-in-Action, an African sustainability consulting and advocacy firm. It takes into primary cognisance the local business milieu in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Said to be the first of its kind in the country, the information in the CSIR is grouped under seven key performance indices, namely: Human Rights and Decent Labour, Innovation, Ethical Economics, Stakeholder Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability and Sustainability Management.
With sustainability emerging as a core component of business strategy for efficient and dynamic corporate organisations, socio-economic and governance frameworks like the CSIR have become vital tools for driving sustainable development.
“I strongly believe that sound public policy on trade and investment in Nigeria will provide the foundation for the establishment of key economic and industrial projects that will lead to substantive transformation,” said Otunba Niyi Adebayo.
“I deeply appreciate the development of this Corporate Sustainable Investment Report which encourages sustainable and ethical business practices. I am certain that it will contribute significantly to enhancing the investment ecosystem and encouraging businesses to adopt the right practices that will empower Nigerians,” the Minister added.
Since the launch of the first edition in 2012 at the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (NESG) with former Director General, NESG, Frank Nweke Jr and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, the Corporate Sustainable Investor Report is said to have become a one-stop resource for all sustainability and business practitioners interested in Nigeria to assess the values and ethical economics priorities of major Nigerian businesses, view emerging trends within industries that reflect their specific sustainability concerns, get an overview of Nigerian business’s current position in the journey of sustainability and inculcate the culture of transparency through reporting.
“In the wake of major human rights abuses in recent decades, there has been an increased interest in acknowledging human rights. Oftentimes, established companies are unwittingly complicit in this repression of human rights. That is why one of the six core assessment criteria of the CSIR is human rights,” submitted the organisation.
“Now on its 4th edition, the CSIR continues to get bigger and better every year, addressing hitherto obscure discourses such as human rights. Besides being a tool of reference for government, regulators and investors concerned with sustainable business practices in Nigeria, the CSIR also provides a viable and equitable platform for corporate organisations in Nigeria to project themselves as sustainable corporate brands,” said Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive of CSR-in-Action.
According to Masade-Olowola, the 2020 CSIR has been independently developed using a diverse team of stakeholders, tailored to suit the local milieu and its challenges, is totally unbiased and has deftly structured ranking criteria.
To be included in the CSIR, corporate organisations need to meet two out of the four prerequisites. These include the possession of a standard, annual and publicly available CSR/ sustainability report, listing on the Nigerian Stocks Exchange (NSE), annual revenue of N500 million, and business existence for four years.