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CBN lauds ASPN’s role in achieving Nigeria’s sustainability agenda


By Collins Nweze

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that achieving Nigeria’s sustainability agenda would require the input and support of the Association of Sustainability Professionals of Nigeria (ASPN).

Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking, Aisha Mahmood, disclosed this at a webinar for the ASPN inauguration in Lagos.

She said the group, made up highly experienced board and management cut across several sectors of the economy, will be advancing Nigeria’s sustainable future in a positive manner.

Mahmood said: “I have confidence that the board will provide the strategic leadership and oversight for the association to serve as a think-tank focusing on providing solutions to the pressing environmental and social issues facing Nigeria,” she said.

According to her, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking principles of 2012 and Nigeria Sustainable Finance Principles adopted in 2015 are the foundation for the financial ecosystem’s commitment to sustainable development,” she said.

Mahmood said financial institutions have been using this framework to systematically manage and explore opportunities of the sustainability risks of their lending and investment activities.

Mamood urged ASPN to come up with modern and sustainable strategies that would raise the bar in sustainability.

Resident Representative in Nigeria, United Nations Development Programme, Mohamed Yahya, in a keynote address, said Nigeria had been adopting policies haphazardly with no clear direction or vision.

Yahya said a professional and holistic approach was required in getting Nigeria back on its development track to ensure that development was inclusive and sustainable.

“ASPN could play a critical role in making this happen through involving in intellectual leadership in policy directions for inclusive and sustainable development, policy dialogue and generating awareness,” he said.

Yahya represented by Marakoon Bandara, said adoption of a long-term approach was imperative in understanding inclusive growth.

Speaking on the theme: “Professionalizing Sustainability for Inclusive Development,” he said issues of structural transformation for economic diversification should take a front stage.

Deputy Dean, Lagos Business School, Prof. Chris Ogbechie, called on the association to drive Sustainability across all sectors.

Speaking on the topic, ”

Mrs Solape Hammond, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on SDGs, said she was proud to witness the birth of ASPN.

Hammond urged the association to help the government achieve the SDGs.

“We cannot do everything on our own as government, we will work together in alignment to achieve SDGs,” she added.

She said the Lagos State Government would partner and align with ASPN objectives to achieve the needed growth and development.

Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. Kenneth Amaeshi, ASPN President, described the unveiling as a milestone achievement.

Amaeshi said the main purpose of the association was to drive sustainability and promote professionalism.

ASPN is a non-profit organisation founded in August 2019 to redefine and improve the practice and profession of Sustainability and Coporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria.

ASPN seeks to set standards for professional ethics, best practices and long-term systems thinking amongst individuals and businesses to foster the sustainable development of Nigeria.

ASPN Director, Strategy and Membership, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, said there are four categories of membership at the ASPN. Members automatically become members of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability.

The student category is for persons currently undergoing undergraduate or graduate studies in courses or research areas related to sustainability from any recognised tertiary institution.

The Associate caters to young professionals who have developed interest in or passion for sustainability and are working as sustainability officers/associates/coordinators, with zero to four years relevant working experience.

Also, included are those who have completed diplomas, degree or graduate courses related to sustainability – Geography, Social Studies, Environmental Management, Risk Management, Economics, etc, in any recognised tertiary institution and those who have reasonable working experience but have just been assigned sustainability duties within their respective organisation.

According to her, the Full category is for experienced sustainability professionals from business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), philanthropic organisations, academia, government and other related fields, with over five years’ experience, whose work include the advancement of sustainability, development, human resource management, governance and the environment, or who are passionate about sustainability and have demonstrated strong commitment to fostering sustainable development in Nigeria.

She explained that the Fellow category is the most senior membership category and would be bestowed on an individual who has made immense contribution, provided exceptional service, had outstanding achievement, demonstrated distinguished commitment to the development of sustainability and who will further ASPN’s course, or in Nigeria. This category is instituted to encourage individuals to promote sustainability in Nigeria.

She said a Fellow would have at least ten years of experience in sustainability-related positions with leadership in sustainability for at least 5 years, and should have written publicly available thought leadership articles.



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