Ugo Aliogo, Joshua Odebisi and Gloria Onoja
Stakeholders in the private sector have called for increased engagement and collaboration in order to promote business sustainability in the economy.
Speaking at the 2017 CEO Forum organised by FirstBank in partnership with the Lagos Business School (LBS), with theme: “Exploring Sustainability and Innovation Opportunities in Turbulent Environment,” the Chief Executive Officer FirstBank Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said tough times demands innovation and creativity. He noted that business leaders need to persist in examining the numerous challenges impeding sectoral and global activities and proffer solutions that will enhance growth and sustainable development.
The FirstBank boss called on stakeholders to utilise the challenging period to enhance leadership and employee capability, while re-examining business models in the new normal of globalisation and carry out these measures against the backdrop provided by the resurgence of nationalism and protectionism.
Adeduntan stated that the forum was organised by the FirstBank Sustainability Centre to facilitate discussion amongst businesses and other organisational leaders in order explore sustainable solutions to surmount challenges impeding growth development.
The FBN Chief lamented that businesses were under threat as they grapple with irredeemable failing facilities that were initiated within the context of well-thought business development strategies few years back, adding that as a financial institution they are committed to offering solutions.
He added: “The FirstBank Sustainability Centre at the Lagos Business School is a partnership that has resulted in knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge application on diverse sustainability related activities. Engagement through programmes include over 16 executive education programmes organised; about 16 workshops and 3 international conferences; 18 stakeholder engagement forums; over 5,279 participants; empowered over 3,000 SMEs through its capacity building programmes; and published over 10 research materials and case studies”
In his keynote address, the Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, called for increased collaboration amongst private sector players to promote sustainability, adding that as the engine of growth in the economy, the sector is very integral to business survival.
He said: “What is needed in terms of adverse problems now is transformational leadership. The traits are very essential. One of the traits of a transformational leader is the ability to foresee the future by reading the signs of today.
“Also the leader has to move very quickly to change policies that will benefit everybody. All sectors have to engage their officials. The two sectors facing more problems are the oil and gas sector and the power sector. It is a key point that the leader also builds long lasting relationships as the one key pillar that builds sustainability is a long lasting relationship.”