CSR-in-Action, a social enterprise organisation, in partnership with Nigerian agencies and parastatals has lined top stakeholders from various sectors to discuss ‘Building local for Global’ at is 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries, SITEI conference scheduled for Abuja next week Wednesday. In this interview, Bekeme Masade – Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action/Founder, SITEI said the goal of the conference is to position extractive stakeholders, especially the indigenous companies, to understand the present dynamics in the sector. Excerpts
How would you briefly assess the impact of your previous last five conferences on nation building?
The SITEI Conference has successfully entered its 6th year, and the reach of the Conference has continued to grow annually, such that the Conference is now a highly-anticipated event. Over the years, the Conference has directly impacted and built sustainability awareness and implementation guidance for over 1,050 professionals and future leaders; and over 50,000, indirectly. We have seen measurable increase in awareness and conversation on the potential in the extractive industries beyond oil, and more recently, the mining sector. There has also been positive youth and government participation in the extractive industries, which has been typically scarce in the past and a willingness by government and businesses to engage indiscriminately with the masses on hitherto uncharted matters. Through our online portal, one can access a reservoir of 5-year data on the sustainability state and awareness of the extractive industries. To crown all of our decisive efforts for the sector, we launched a first of its kind framework called the ‘Sustainable Extractive and Energy Principles’ (SEEP)at SITEI 2016; a voluntary set of principles to coordinate the affairs of the actors in the sector. On a lighter note, you would notice that following our conference in 2015 on Unlocking the Hidden Potential in the Extractive Industries, we had a number of government and private conferences and seminars all ‘unlocking’ some potential in the Nigerian economy.
This year, you are focusing on ‘Building local for Global’, could you explain the choice of this topic?
Every year, the discussions at the Conference have always focused on current government policies, business activities, as well as other current global trends in the sector. This year, the Conference is once more aligning with government plans of building local capacity for the sector which for the mining sector is the focus on the seven strategic minerals and the drive to make the Nigerian mining sector globally competitive, and for the oil and gas sector the 7 Big Wins and 20-point agenda to end militancy in the Niger Delta. The goal is to position extractive stakeholders, especially the indigenous companies, to understand the present dynamics in the sector, identify new hotspots, develop new strategies, and ultimately reap maximally from the present-day extractive sector reality. Furthermore, building the local capacity in our extractive sector will also ensure that local entrepreneurs and investors seamlessly harness the opportunities in the sector and add value to the local economy, positively influence the development of ancillary industries, and finally make the sector competitive globally.
Who are the partner organisations of the Conference?
The Conference is organised in partnership with key stakeholders in the industries, some of which include, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (FMPR),Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (FMMSD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), and Ford Foundation.
Who are the target audience for the conference?
In this 6-year period SITEI, the Conference has hosted key decision-makers and players in the entire gamut of the sector from government, business, host community leaders, academia, civil society organisations (CSOs),and media.
Could you mention some of the speakers expected at the conference?
We expect special guests in the persons of Dr IbeKachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Kayode Fayemi, Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary, NEITI,SimbiWabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, NsimaEkere, MD/CEO, NDDC, Frank Dixon Mugyenyi, Senior Industry Advisor, AU Commission, John Sloan, Economist, African Mining Development Centre, UNECA, BayoOjulari MD, SNEPCO, Rabiu I Sulaiman, Group ED Coordination, NNPC/STA to HMSPR on Refineries, Downstream and Infrastructure, MPR, Dr Chike Onyejekwe, GMD, Aiteo E&P, RansomeOwan GMD, Aiteo Power & Gas, Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, SITEI Steering Committee/Chairman, PETAN, Alh Sani Shehu, President, MAN, and many more.
At the end of the two-day conference, is the nation expecting a communiqué towards nation building?
Yes, every year, a communique is produced from the Conference discussions and breakout sessions which is we share with all key partner organisations, delegates at the Conference, online as well as through other direct mails to critical stakeholders.
Could you briefly tell us about CSR-in-Actionorganisation
CSR-in-Action is a social enterprise and we pursue our work through 3 different expressions: CSR-in-Action Consulting, College of Sustainable Citizenship & CSR-in-Action Advocacy.
We believe that we are the foremost independent ethical action network and consultancy for collective social responsibility and corporate governance in West Africa with member organisations from business and civil society.The organisation which drives the Conference, Corporate Social Responsibility Awareness and Advancement Initiative (more popularly known as CSR-in-Action Advocacy) commenced activities in 2010, and is a member of renowned groups and global organisations like the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).