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The Lagos State government has reiterated its commitment towards partnering with the private sector for a sustainable economy while revealing that there were ongoing plans to formulate incentive policies that would encourage the sector to adopt viable business practices, increase resource use and reduce cost as the world shifts focus to Circular Economy.

Lagos Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube made this disclosure at the weekend during a virtual Stakeholders’ Workshop tagged ‘Operationalizing Sustainability and Circular Economy organised by the Institute of Directors, IoD in collaboration with Afrikairos, Circular Economy Innovation Partnership, CEIP and Growing Business Foundation, GBF.

The Commissioner revealed that the Governor at a World Circular Economy Forum had made commitments on the State transitioning to a circular economy, which is being incorporated in the State´s 30-year development plan to make Lagos a model for circular economy in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

He said: “It is of great essence that our collective effort towards a sustainable society can be measured, monitored and evaluated in a way that is acceptable and aligns with global best practice. Lagos State will consider enabling policies that will enhance incentives for the private sector to report sustainability and circular economy as we need to hold each other accountable, both government and private sector, whereby material data, and data integrity, is key to tracking, monitoring and improving performance.”

Egube said the workshop is an opportunity to learn from one another and facilitate the convergence of thoughts, experience and knowledge whilst developing an economy that is more distributive, inclusive, and would help achieve growth and simultaneously address the threats of high unemployment in the society and State.

“This workshop is coming at a time when the Lagos State Government seeks to rebuild our dear State, we want to build back better, stronger and more sustainably. This, in line with the THEMES agenda under the amiable leadership of our indefatigable Mr Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu,” he said.

The Commissioner added that the State Government has embarked on building a circular economy collaborating with IoD, Afrikairos and other appropriate stakeholders to facilitate workgroups that are targeting pollution, waste reduction, resource efficiency through circular economy engagement and innovation challenge, noting that the State government would undertake capacity-building programmes for its MDAs to ensure the processes enables required impact investment and cooperation in realising the target and ambition of a greater and circular Lagos.

“For us in the public sector, we have embarked on making circular economy concrete through our partnership with IoD, Afrikairos, CEIP in facilitating workgroups that are targeting pollution, waste reduction, resource efficiency through circular economy engagement and innovation challenge. We will embark on capacity building programmes for our MDAs to ensure our processes enable requisite impact investment and partnership in achieving the target and ambition of a greater and circular Lagos.”

In his address, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Exchange Group Plc, Mr. Oscar Onyema said the potential of adopting sustainable business practices and circularity to grow the baseline of a business is by maximizing resource use and reducing expenses. He said mainstreaming sustainability and circularity would require an overhaul of how a business measures its value.

“The potential of adopting sustainable business practices and circularity to significantly increase the baseline of a business by maximizing resource use and reducing expenses. However, mainstreaming sustainability and circularity will require an overhaul of how a company measures its value. Identified barriers need to be addressed, awareness raised, opportunities for action and engagements seized, and capacity built. Innovation will also play a crucial role as we look to conduct our businesses in line with global standards to create shared value,” he said.

The General Manager/CEO, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Dolapo Fasawe said in her presentation: “ the Circular Economy requires embracing a systematic approach to economic development that would benefit the society, environment and businesses, which can be done by designing economic activities to disengage growth from the consumption of finite resources; consequently resources are conserved and sustainably used.”

The workshop had in attendance: Chief Chris Okunnowo, President and Chairman, Governing Council of IoD Nigeria; Prof. Kennenth Amaeshi, President, Association of Sustainability Professionals (ASPN); Dr. Oliver Everling, C.E.O, Rating Evidence, GmBh Europe, moderated by Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, Partner, Afrikairos & Chair, CEIP and GBF. The forum was divided into two panel sessions tagged Corporate and Investors’ Perspectives which had various local and international panelists.

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