Industry experts have expressed their concerns about the annual funding shortfall, estimated at an average of $2.5 trillion, in both public and private investments in sectors related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the Sustainable Futures Africa event held in Lagos last week and hosted by Hudson Sandler in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact Nigeria, Naomi Nwokolo, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Nigeria, emphasized the significant funding gap. She stated, “Globally, there is an average annual funding shortfall of USD 2.5 trillion between public and private investments in sectors related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries (UN Sustainable Development Group).”
Nwokolo further urged Nigerian businesses to adopt Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles as a crucial aspect of sustainable development in the country. She noted that while African businesses are contributing significantly to society, they are not fully engaged in ESG issues. To maximize their impact and scale, companies must collectively embrace SDG-aligned practices that align with social and governance expectations.
Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), also shared his vision during the Sustainable Futures Africa event. He highlighted the importance of aligning corporate governance with sustainability principles, emphasizing the foundation it lays for economic prosperity and resilience. Dr. Olowo stressed that the Financial Reporting Council plays a pivotal role, not only as a regulatory body but as a catalyst for instilling confidence in investors and upholding the highest standards in accounting, auditing, and corporate governance.