CSR-in-Action, Nigeria’s foremost sustainability outfit is poised to host Nigeria’s maiden Community Engagement and Human Rights (CAHR) Awards, pronounced ‘Car’ Awards, at its 8th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference. The Awards, which consist of seven categories, will be a mainstay of the conference themed: Community Engagement: A Panacea for Peace in Extractive Operations. It is scheduled to hold on Friday, 22 November, 2019, at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos.
The CAHR Awards is co-founded with Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF) and is designed to provide a platform to encourage extractive businesses in Nigeria and Africa to take cogent steps to correct the anomalies of engagement within communities, primarily extractive communities, by acknowledging and appreciating best performing companies. The Awards whose focus for 2019 is currently extractive companies in Nigeria, will progress in due course to companies in other West African states and over time Africa as a whole.
As the inaugural community engagement awards in Africa, CAHR will recognise and bestow awards upon outstanding individuals and corporate entities that have demonstrated exemplary service in several categories including:
- The Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental Management Award;
- The MKO Abiola Community Engagement Awards;
- The Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award;
- The Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Human Rights Award;
- The Apostle Hayford Alile Humanitarian Award;
- The Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights Award and
- The Ahmadu Bello Award for Leadership.
Additionally, the occasion of the 8th SITEI Conference will serve as a veritable launchpad for Nigeria’s pioneer Community Engagement Standards (CES), a framework for community inclusion and management during a project’s life cycle. The Conference will pivot on solutions for engendering peace and harmony, security and sustainable development for all stakeholders in the extractive space across Africa, with a call to more government agencies and businesses to adopt the Standards.
CES was developed by CSR-in-Action with support and funding from the Facility for Oil Sector Transformation and Reform (FOSTER II) following painstaking and extensive engagement with stakeholders in nine extractives-focused states in Nigeria, including Lagos, from which salient data was obtained for designing a step-by-step guidance document for engagement with communities throughout the life cycle of a project.
The CES was adopted by the Office of the Vice President of the Federation and government parastatals such as the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (FMPR), including its agencies such as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Ministry of the Environment (FMEnv) and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), during a two-day workshop in April 2019. It has also received the approval of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Speaking on the 8th SITEI Conference and CAHR Awards, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, asserted that:
‘’CSR-in-Action’s commitment to the advancement of sustainability in Nigeria and the African continent has seen us structure interventions and design events to advance overall the global sustainability agenda.’’
She noted that the CAHR Awards and the unveiling of the CES document will promote sustainability practices in Nigeria beginning from the extractive space. She added that: ‘While the CAHR Awards will motivate extractive agencies and companies to up their game in their sustainability practices across board, the CES will provide a focused guide for the extractive industries to engage effectively with their stakeholders in the host communities and generate meaningful sustainable impacts which align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Engr. Kamoru Busari, Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, commended CSR-in-Action for their giant stride in developing Nigeria’s premier Community Engagement Framework, the CES and their commitment to advocating for sustainability in the extractive industries by hosting the SITEI conference for 8 consecutive years. He said that
“I am proud of our association with CSR-in-Action, and the fact that our teams have worked together towards building a tool that has the potential to solve the crisis we have in the Niger Delta, by its sheer simplicity and detail. If we in the government agencies can work with businesses to implement the guidance in the CES in good spirit, we will eradicate conflict within oil-producing communities.”
On the CAHR Awards, Engr. Busari expressed his thoughts that the CAHR Awards would be a valid reward for those companies which have exhibited compliance with global best practice in the industries.”
Tolagbe Martins, Executive Director, GBF, remarked that
“By rewarding businesses for taking proactive steps, we hope to correct the anomalies of ‘business as usual’ engagement within communities which we hope will in turn lead to deeper partnerships for sustainable development and economic empowerment.”
In the same vein, Ademola Henry Adigun, Team Lead, FOSTER II, said that the project’s decision to support CSR-in-Action in developing the CES
“is based on the need to engender sustainable development by ensuring that extractive companies adopt best practice in engaging stakeholders in their host communities noting that it has become expedient for oil companies to take responsibility for their impact in the communities and the CES will provide a focused and all-encompassing approach to achieving this”.
Bekeme Masade-Olowola expressed appreciation to Ford Foundation for its consistent support over the years, FOSTER II – of the Department for International Development (DFID) – for funding the CES vision, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, its agencies and partner ministries, for enthusiastically seeking self-regulation, and other partners who have supported SITEI in hosting the conference in the last eight years, starting with the Deputy High Commission of Canada. She also thanked Steering Committee Members, Dr. Muazu Abdulkadir, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; Ibrahim Shehu, Deputy Director, Upstream Services, MPR; Nafiu Akinpelu, Deputy Director, FMEnv; Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director, National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay; Chief Bariza Dooh, Traditional Ruler, Goi Community, Rivers State; Otunba Babatunde Alatise, Chairman, Mining and Solid Minerals Group; and Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary, NEITI.
SITEI is a national stakeholder engagement workshop for stakeholders in the extractive industries, now in its 8th year. The conference annually brings together over 1,000 businesses, public and civic sector leaders – C-Level executives from the extractive industries, directors from multilateral and financial sectors, thought leaders and community and good governance advocates – with the common goal of harnessing and utilising the huge potential within the industries.
About CSR-in-Action Advocacy
CSR-in-Action Advocacy, a subsidiary of the CSR-in-Action Group, is the first United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) NWP private sector member in Nigeria and is a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – with special consultative status.
CSR-in-Action publishes the Corporate Sustainable Investor Report with the 3C-Index – the only sustainability bespoke analysis of business’ sustainability practices. Furthermore, CSR-in-Action is the convener of the SITEI Conference – an annual conference that offers a platform to discuss and provide suggestions to better implement government policies in the mining and oil industries, which is attended by leaders in the industries, academia, civil society, community and business. Our third most prolific approach to driving ethics, is through our project The Good Citizen, which aims at driving value system reorientation amongst individuals in the citizenry through solid partnerships, which now has the number one show on InspirationFM, The Good Citizen Radio Show.
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