He made this statement during the National Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals which took place in Abuja from the 28th to the 30th of November 2016.
While giving his goodwill message at the conference, Akpata further stated that governments will hope to see businesses develop new solutions as well, applying their skills and specialist knowledge to innovate, create new materials, products and processes; utilising new thinking in the energy space, climate, smart agriculture, use of smart data, new materials and the like as part of developments to achieving the goals.
“For business to see the benefits from all this activity and to align with the SDGs, significant internal engagement is required with great inter-team communication and collaboration”. This, Akpata noted, will require strong commitment and leadership from the top.
He spoke further: “We believe that when global companies align with the SDGs they will have a clearer view on how their business helps or hinders a government to achieve its goals, and the opportunity to evidence and maintain their license to operate in compliant countries.
“SDGs are a game changer for the planet and for business, but only if the business community seizes the opportunity and engages. Governments, NGOs and society, can only do so much; it will take a united effort.
“Our PwC SDG Engagement research reveals that just 13% of the companies surveyed have identified the tools that will help them assess their impact against the SDGs that are relevant to their business. This is understandable considering the newness of the SDGs, but even in five years, only 30% think they will have identified the tools.
“We recognise that engagement will be slow without the basic tools in place to start the process. Hopefully, this conference will address this by showcasing various Innovative Methods and Approaches available to help business assess SDG impacts, define their priorities and set goals” he added”.
The National Conference of the Sustainable Development Goals was organized by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDG’s (OSSAP -SDGs) in collaboration with PwC, UNICEF, WHO and other development agencies.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a UN initiative; which has seventeen aspirational “Global Goals”. It is set to eradicate poverty, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems amongst others.