The event started at about 12:15pm when the Minister arrived with virtual participants already connected on zoom. The Minister’s press secretary introduced him and asked that the second stanza of the National anthem be recited as the opening prayer for the event. Thereafter, he handed over the anchoring of the occasion to the main event anchor in the person of Mr. S. A. Felix who welcomed everyone and called on Ms. Queen-Esther Ode, programmes coordinator for the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) to give the welcome/opening remark.

In her remark, she recognized all distinguished guests of honour present and pointed out that the Supply Chain Sustainability School in Africa is being set up as a subsidiary of the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) to build the much-needed capacity on global best practices in supply chain and procurement while developing strategic ways of mitigating risks. She also mentioned that the school will not just benefit businesses alone but will help lift Africans out of poverty in line with published World Bank studies.

Sir. Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair, Supply Chain Sustainability School, United Kingdom, joined the event virtually from the UK and presented next, giving in-depth analysis on the Supply Chain Sustainability School. He stated that the school is a common approach to assessing supply chain sustainability competence and developing suppliers’ sustainability knowledge. The school started with nine (9) partner organisations in June 2012 in the UK and is proud to have increased that number to over 130 as at September, 2021.

He pointed out that with 54,840 users, 16,175 member companies (over 70% SMEs), 140 school partners, 3000+ online learning resources and world class technology, the sustainability impact of the school is evident with 37% reduced carbon emission, 43% reduced waste, 69% increased modern slavery understanding amongst others.

Sir. Shaun commended this move to establish the supply chain sustainability school in Africa and encouraged stakeholders to key in.

Arlinda Fejzullahu, Business Development Manager for North West Africa, PECB, was the next to present on PECB Partner Program, Partnership Level Scheme and Training Certification Partners. She also joined the event virtually.

She mentioned that PECB is accredited by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), a US-based accreditation authority and by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation is against ISO/IEC 17024 –certification of persons for various international standards.

Her presentation covered PECB partnership models, training and certification schemes, level of courses, examinations, certifications, technological ecosystem, responsibilities, marketing support, credit calculation, partner requirements, and benefits.

She commended the initiative and encouraged participants at the event to be part of the school.

Mr. Eustace Onuegbu, President, IN-CSR / Head, Supply Chain Sustainability School, Africa was next to present and his session gave insight on what the supply chain sustainability school in Africa is all about. He pointed out that the Supply Chain Sustainability School in Africa is set up as a subsidiary of the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (INCSR) to build the much needed capacity on global best practices in supply chain and procurement while developing strategic ways of mitigating any challenges and that the knowledge gained from the various courses will help reduce risk exposures for organisations, increase trade and investment, and make sub Saharan Africa a more favourable destination for foreign investment especially during the present economic uncertainties.

He emphasized that Membership to the School will give individuals and organisations access to hundreds of learning resources and CPD accredited contents on our website and sister websites in UK and Australia. The school also offers bespoke training, coaching and consultancy services as well as networking opportunities through our monthly webinars and annual conferences. The aim is to extend the boundaries of best practice in sustainability, by working with leading international partners who are recognised by their peers as leaders in their class.

His presentation also touched on public interest – extreme poverty, Africa’s free trade area, benefits of ISO 20400, sustainable procurement, sources of supply chain risk, sustainability procurement issues while stating that the school is designed specifically for businesses operating in Sub-Saharan Africa including those exporting and importing across the region.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Otunba Niyi Adebayo CON then proceeded to launch the ISO 20400 Supply Chain Sustainability School in Africa, while heartily commending the efforts of all who made it possible, siting their dedication to developing and strengthening sustainable practices in Africa as truly laudable. He specifically commended Mr. Eustace Onuegbu and Sir Shaun McCarthy OBE, the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) their partners; the Supply Chain Sustainability School, UK and Professional Evaluation and Certification Board, Canada (PECB) and of course the Standards Organisation of Nigeria who all made the initiative a reality.

He mentioned that his Ministry is honoured to collaborate with the school while playing the role of promoting the adoption of sustainable and ethical business practices. As evident in the Ministry’s partnership with CSR-in-Action, they strongly advocate for sustainable and ethical practices in Nigerian businesses as it is important for attracting the right investments and improving employee and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, it is also important for advancing the industrialisation agenda, as only standardised and sustainable businesses can make the long-standing impact that is needed to achieve National Aspirations.

In conclusion, he applauded the staff, management and partners of IN-CSR for all of the effort expended in establishing this school and urged them to keep up the good work and continue raising awareness on the importance of sustainability.

The event came to a close at about 2pm with Dr. Rita Ozoemena, Executive Secretary, IN-CSR and Advocate of the High Court of South Africa who attended virtually from South-Africa, giving the closing remarks thereafter group photographs were taken.


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