By Princewill Ekwujuru
MORE than five multinational corporations led by Diageo owners of Guinness Nigeria PLC, have come together to address water challenges in the country. This is to help Nigeria meet one of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs).
Other conglomerates on the train includes Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever, Glaxosmithkline including Oando, and UBA Foundation . Speaking on the collaboration, Devlin Hainsworth, Managing Director, Guinness Nigeria said â€œWe can achieve much more as a group working towards the same goals than working separately.
If we demonstrate our leadership in this area and express our commitment to sustainable water management and provision for the country, we will be one step closer to ensuring our operations do not face water shortages in the future and our communities are healthy and vibrant.â€™â€™
The main outcome of the roundtable is a draft white paper – a Call to Action to the Government to address issues on water policy and provision.
The outcome of the white paper will also be the commitment to form a business network among the private sector to share best practice and advocate groups in engaging government and leverage external resources from donors and international agencies for funds.
Companies have committed to set measurable targets on efficiency, recycling and community access projects as part of a holistic approach in water management in Nigeria, the group noted.
The event is the beginning of a business-led dialogue on responsible engagement with water policy to ensure that the nationâ€™s water is managed for the prosperity of its people and economy.
The white paper will be collated with others in Cameroon , Ghana , South Africa and Kenya and presented at the United Nations Global Compact Business Leaders Forum in June 2010 as a Call to Action from African business leaders to address water challenges on the continent.
The event, entitled, â€œWater: A Business Imperativeâ€, is a Roundtable discussion sponsored by Guinness Nigeria, in partnership with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) is aimed at identifying new pathways for water provision in Nigeria and how businesses can collectively contribute to national water policy goals and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target 7 relating to water.
The groups also brain stormed to identify practical steps for partnerships and collaborate to address the challenges.