Posted in Features

NSE/GRI Sustainability Reporting Workshop

Sustainability Solutions

The Nigerian Stock Exchange in partnership with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) hosts a workshop on sustainability reporting in Lagos. At this event, the NSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines will be unveiled.

The event will hold as scheduled below:

Date: Tuesday March 19, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.Venue: NSE Event Center, Stock Exchange House, Marina, Lagos State

Insights would be shared on the imperative of good sustainable practices and reporting, as the conversations at this workshop are also expected to address the implementation of sustainability reporting, reporting process and enhancement of corporate transparency as well as corporate ESG performance.

Speakers at the event include:

Mr. Bola Adeeko, Head, Shared Service Division, NSE;

Bekeme Masade-Olowola, GRI Board Member and Executive Director, CSR in Action;

Olumide Orojimi, Head, Corporate Communication, NSE;

Godstime Iwenekhai, Head, Listing Regulation Department, NSE.

“A wide range of investors and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding more disclosure of information and…

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Posted in Features

Nigerian based ‘U-Recycle Initiative’ joins countries around the world to celebrate Global Recycling Day

Throwing it back to two years ago when I volunteered for Wecyclers during one of their advocacy events in Lagos. I loved every bit of it. The feeling of being part of such a great movement was amazing. Imagine a world where we could take our old clothes back to the manufacturers and we got the same clothes again being made from our old clothes. Imagine if we could recycle waste paper all the time and we did not need to cut more trees. Imagine if we use our kitchen waste all the time to make compost and grow our own food. Just imagine how our streets would be cleaner, our drainages flowing freely and resources being conserved. There are numerous upsides to recycling but it is still a practice that is uncommon globally.

This is why on the 18th of March, 2019, Nigerian based ‘U-Recycle Initiative’ would be joining countries around the world to celebrate Global Recycling Day with the Global Recycling Foundation. The Global Recycling Foundation was created in 2018 with the mission to help recognize, and celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet.

This year, with the theme, ‘’Recycling into the Future’’, Global Recycling Day aims to celebrate the power of recycling and make the world think ‘resource not waste’. The event is a part of multiple activities taking place across continents around the world in countries including the USA, South Africa, the UK, India, Dubai, and Australia. The U-Recycle Initiative will be hosting Nigeria’s first major Global Recycling Day event in Lagos on the 18th of March 2019.

About the U-Recycle Initiative

U-Recycle Initiative, sponsored by The Nigerian Child Initiative, Wildlife Africa Conservation Initiative, and Lagos Lagoon Keepers, runs workshops and programmes in Nigerian schools with the aim of educating children about the value of recycling. Their Global Recycling Day event which would take place between 10am-4pm on 18th March 2019 at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park, Ikeja, is expected to be a fun-fair style event with a host of activities. Aiming to attract over 150 guests, including schools, special guests and other interested members of the public, the event’s activities would include:

Recycling Goals football challenge: The event will include a chance to take part in Global Recycling Day’s #RecyclingGoalscampaign. Based around football and recycling, the campaign tasks social media users to take a video of themselves scoring a football goal whilst pledging to make a long term commitment to better recycling practices. Participants can then tag #RecyclingGoals and #GlobalRecyclingDay on their social media feeds to spread the word.

Upcycle Fashion Show: The event will also include a special ‘upcycle’ fashion show, with U-Recycle Initiative partnering with Green Fingers Wildlife Conservation Initiative to display fashion outfits made from recyclable materials.

Recycle Art Exhibition/Contest: An art contest/exhibition will feature various artworks made out of recycled materials by students from local schools.

Expert Talk session: The event will also include talks on recycling from experts and prominent individuals.

Recycle Games: Games and activities will include a recycle obstacle course, where participants have to navigate the course of recycled materials as quickly as they can while carrying a recyclable object. Other activities will include recycling pin bowling and recycling skyscrapers, where each participant has to try and build the highest pyramid of cans in one minute.

The President of the Global Recycling Foundation Ranjit Baxi commented: “We are thrilled to be partnering with U-Recycle Initiative to launch the first major Global Recycling Day event in Lagos, Nigeria. Recycling is a global issue and every one of us, in every corner of the world, must consider how we can encourage better recycling habits. By launching events and celebrating the power of recycling across the globe, we can encourage the world to think ‘resource not waste’, and help to promote a more sustainable future for our grandchildren.”

Also, you can make donations to:

Account Name: Green Fingers Wildlife Initiative

Account Number: 3126855561

Bank: First Bank

For further information about the event, contact the U-Recycle Initiative team:

Oluwaseyi Moejoh, +2348068310755

Bello Fathia, +2347088902263

Posted in Features

Vehicular emissions, Mental health and the Lives of Lagosians.

Everyone wants to come to Lagos. It is perceived that the grass is greener here, at least by the people living in a handful of other states of the country. Growing up in Lagos, I have lived in Magodo/Shangisha and Ikorodu respectively. Traffic congestion is something that Lagos State is known for but the intensity differs from area to area and the time of travel.

Who’s got the magic wand?

Last week, just ahead of the President’s arrival in Lagos, the traffic hotspots became suddenly free. A good friend called our attention to it via Instagram and we all wondered where the solution suddenly came from.

My 3am – 10pm life

Living in Ikorodu and working in Victoria Island for a couple of months in 2017, the time management lessons I learned could not help me out of the stress. Waking up at 3 am, leaving the house at 5 am in order to get to work in good time and getting back home between 8 and 9 pm. This is not the main reason for this post as we shall see soon.

The Centre of Traffic

I would not bore you with statistics of vehicular emissions globally because we already know how uncomfortable we feel when exposed to these gases in traffic. We are exposed to carbon monoxide especially every day from different sources – road travel in non-air-conditioned vehicles, walking, gas stoves, etc. In all of these, the duration of exposure is a major factor that determines the level of harm that will be caused.

When going on a 42-km journey at an average speed of 80 km per hour, you should spend about 35 minutes on the road but when there is traffic congestion especially in a place like Lagos, you can end up spending 6 hours (My husband has gone through this before). I have spent 4 hours from MKO Abiola Gardens to Magodo Phase 2 – a journey that would not take me 15 minutes ordinarily. The last time I traveled to Ilorin for the holidays, I did not want to come back.

Mental health is underrated

When people hear “mental”, the first thing that comes to mind is madness or insanity as in “were” in Yoruba language. Without sound mental health, a lot of us would keep spending all of our time on a little portion of ourselves (I love this line I learned from Exponential Living by Sheri Riley). While working in Victoria Island, I was always sleepy at work, could not add value at the rate I would have if I spent less time commuting to work. I could not do other things in the remaining facets of my life. I rarely saw my kids or had time for family. This time did not pass without having serious adverse effects on my marriage and other relationships. I gained weight too because I was constantly stressed. Did I mention that the gases in vehicular emissions have their ways of messing up with our brains?

Our systemic problems

Someone asked a question about who should pay for the time employees spend in traffic. In my opinion, deliberating on who should pay for time spent in traffic is like constantly taking painkillers for headaches instead of seeking to address the cause of the headaches. Everyone is paying for time spent in traffic but in different currencies. As a risk management expert in training (clap for me), the first step in creating long term solutions is to address the root cause of any problem. What exactly causes traffic congestion on Lagos roads? The answer is not one or two, but a web of issues linked to one another.

  • Population explosion: With over 5 million cars and 200,000 commercial vehicles on the roads (when the national average is 11 vehicles per kilometer), Lagos daily records an average of 227 vehicles per every kilometer of road. Lagos is home to over 21 million people struggling to thrive on very limited and mismanaged infrastructure. Sweden is on 450,295 km² and is said to be home to 9.995 million people as of 2017. Lagos, on the other hand, is 1,171 km² and is home over 21 million people, Kilode?
  • Inefficient parastatals: Sorry but not also sorry, the agencies in Lagos need to brace up. Someone came up with the argument that they are not well paid. Another came up with a counter-argument that they knew about the pay before taking the job. In my opinion, everyone should strive for excellence no matter what but an old Yoruba adage says that “Money is the vehicle of good conduct”. A Level 9 officer in Lagos State, takes home a little less than 60k monthly. There is no excuse for inefficiency but tell me how such an officer would not engage in corrupt practices when the opportunity arises. These guys just go to work. Especially the ones on Ikorodu road when approaching Ketu from Mile 12. The yellow and black buses would stop to pick up passengers while the traffic officials hit the buses with their rods.
  • Terrible roads: Another big issue is the state of roads in Lagos. For every 5 seconds you spend trying to manoeuver a pothole, there is a 10 seconds delay. Now try to multiply this by the countless potholes we meet on every road. I will not talk about vehicular wear and tear yet.
  • Lawless and impatient road users: There are situations that we all know that a bad spot on the road is the cause of the traffic. This is when some people who think they can outsmart others start to create more lanes on the little spaces left for pedestrians. A lot of times, this leads to gridlock and we all end up spending more time in traffic than we would have if we just stayed in a lane.

Way forward

On the part of the government, there is very little to do about the population of Lagosians however, our parastatals need to be strengthened because most of the highlighted issues have agencies that have been charged with responsibilities of ensuring that our roads are timely maintained, lawless road users apprehended and only roadworthy vehicles should ply the roads.

As citizens, we can start by getting familiar with the Goodlife goals, after all, who does not want a good life?

Posted in Features

GoodLife Goals: Futerra’s style of making the SDGs actionable for all

I stumbled on the GoodLife Goals sometime last week and I could not help but put down my thoughts about them. The GoodLife Goals were carved out of the sustainable development goals by one of the co-founders (Solitaire Townsend) of Futerra, a hybrid change agency that is committed to making sustainable development so desirable it becomes normal.

The GLGs caught my attention because each of the SDGs was expressed in simpler terms that even a 4-year old would understand them easily. Explaining the SDGs in layman terms could not have come at a better time because the SDGs present a group of cumbersome things to do for the everyday man/woman. On the other hand, businesses and governments can align their strategies and actions to the SDGs. Let’s take a look at the revision by Futerra.

So what are the GoodLife Goals?

According to the Good Life Goals manual, they are a set of personal actions that people around the world can take to help support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are lifestyle asks for individuals that are carefully aligned with the SDGs 169 targets and indicators.

The SDGs were simply broken down into actionable terms that everyone can live by as you would see in the images below.

Image credit:
Fun emojis to depict the SDGs. These would be easy to understand by anyone.
Image credit: UNESCO
Governments and businesses would not find this too hard to work with. They would, however, find it easier to implement when they adopt the GoodLife Goals.

The images are self-explanatory. Each SDG has a corresponding GoodLife Goal to explain it further. For more details, you can download the manual and the pack of actions. 

Thank you, Solitaire!

This is to say a big thank you to Solitaire Townsend for “hacking” the SDGs. Want to know more about Solitaire and her work at Futerra, click here