Global Recognition for Nigerian Stock Exchange

Global Recognition for Nigerian Stock Exchange
The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s efforts to at promoting corporate social
responsibility and sustainability received boost recently when the bourse was
honored with the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Company Award in New
York, United States at the African Business Awards. 

The African Business
Awards, launched in 2008 by African Business magazine, is designed to celebrate
excellence in African businesses, by recognizing the individuals and companies
that are driving Africa’s rapidly transforming economy and creating new socio-economic
opportunities for citizens and communities all over the continent.

  The Managing Director of IC
Publications and Group Publisher of African Business magazine, Mr. Omar Ben
Yedder said “It is encouraging

to read the many achievements that are taking
place all over the continent, despite the headwinds and difficult global
environment.

The continent continues to be blessed with some remarkable
individuals, who are driven and relentless in their ambitions to playing a
transformative role. The calibre of entries is very high and continues to
reflect and recognise Africa’s outstanding individuals and businesses. 
These
entries are assessed by a judging panel of renowned individuals who are chosen
for their expertise on the African Business Industry, with scores based on a
set of qualitative and quantitative criteria”.
THE JOURNEY TO DOING GOOD
In
2013, The NSE took a bold step towards the actualization of its CSR programme
by establishing a CSR Unit and the institution of a CSR strategy. This
unveiling was part of the overall corporate transformation agenda of the bourse
led by Oscar N. Onyema.
With a
vision to be the foremost Africa’s securities exchange with core values of
transparency, teamwork, integrity and professionalism, the exchange is committed
to promoting market-based approach to Environmental, Social and Governance
(ESG) imperatives.
The NSE plays a vital role in the economy of Nigeria by providing
businesses with a platform for raising capital, and providing institutional and
retail investors with the opportunity to invest through a robust market
infrastructure that is anchored on the good governance and fair play.
This
unique positioning to support growth in Africa’s largest economy comes with
significant responsibilities.  It is therefore
imperative that the NSE provides an efficient and sustainable capital market that
creates long-term value for its varied stakeholders by embracing opportunities,
whilst at the same time managing the risks that derive from economic,
environmental and social change.
According
to the NSE, it therefore focused its strategy and the CSR governance structure
to supports three central ambitions:
·        
To make responsible and
sustainable business practices a core competence of our organisation,
integrated into our daily business decisions and operations
·        
To provide opportunities for our stakeholders to make positive
contributions towards a sustainable future
·        
Support the disclosure and provision of Environment, Social and
Governance (ESG) data to enable market participants to integrate these
considerations into their investments activities and decisions.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF DOING GOOD
In line
with global CSR best practice, NSE developed a strategic framework that sets
out its  commitments and priorities
against four key impact areas for our business based on the material CSR risks
and opportunities linked to the long-term success of the NSE and our
stakeholders. 
FOCUS AREA
COMMITMENT
PRIORITIES
Marketplace
Promoting
market-based approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
imperatives amongst all stakeholders. 
–                     
Develop
a sustainable capital market.
–                     
Maintain
the highest standards of ethics and corporate governance.
–                     
Ensure
ethical and sustainable suppliers relations.
Community
Making
positive contributions to the communities where we live and work.
–                     
Support
educational programs that increase financial literacy and capacity in our local communities.
–                     
Support
initiatives that combat global and local health issues.
–                     
Enable
employees to contribute to their local community and support the NSE CSR plan
through corporate volunteering.
Workplace
Fostering
an engaging and high performing work environment that facilitates diversity,
wellbeing and development of our people. 
–                     
Promote
Diversity and Inclusion.
–                     
Facilitate
Health, Safety And Wellbeing.
–                     
Encourage
Human Capital Development.
Environment
Focusing
on reducing the Exchange’s environmental impact
–                     
Minimize
our impact on the environment through increasing efficiency and reducing
consumption.
–                     
Promote
environmental awareness and sustainability.
NSE Joins the League

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), took a different and strategic step by publishing
its first sustainability report. The report is titled, “Connecting Nigeria to
the World Through a Sustainable Capital Market.”

The report, the NSE has said, demonstrates its commitment to increased
disclosure, expanded stakeholder engagement and thought leadership on
sustainability as a key aspect of its business strategy. The NSE said the
report, which aligns with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) framework, showcases
its performance along the four key impact areas it has devoted attention and
resources. The key areas the NSE said include: Market place, Community,
Workplace and the Environment.

“The NSE continues its journey to build a sustainable organisation through
responsible and inclusive financial and investment services. Our major
achievements include: launching the Alternative Securities Market (ASeM), a
specialist board for the listing of SMEs, signing on to the Sustainable Stock
Exchanges (SSE) Initiative and launching the Corporate Governance Rating System
(CGRS). Others are: forming a partnership with Global Reporting Initiative
(GRI) to develop Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines in the Nigerian capital
market and signing the UNGC Call to Action: Anti -Corruption and the Global
Development Agenda

“The NSE is committed to supporting local communities through planned, shared-value
social and economic investments that are aimed at creating much-needed
opportunity and positive change. Key progress recorded include; hosting over 650 free capacity
building workshops, and total of 81 TV & radio programmes to boost its
financial inclusion programme and the successfully launching the
annual Corporate Challenge competition that drew more than 850 participants
from over 1000 companies together around the theme of cancer prevention and
treatment over the past 2 years,” the NSE said.

Workplace
and the Environment

As a responsible employer, the NSE said it strives towards building a strong
and consistent relationship with all our employees, built on mutual respect and
dignity.

According to the exchange, “We provide a safe work environment while ensuring
professional development opportunities. The following was recorded: Had an
average of 96 per cent training participation over the last three years,
achieved 38 per cent women in management positions, introduced an employee
award scheme, the CEO Awards, to recognise outstanding performance and
commenced Graduate Trainee programme to develop future leaders for the Nigerian
capital market
“The
NSE is committed to conducting its business in a way that protects the
environment. Through an environmental management approach, the Exchange has
been able to: Achieve a 70 per cent drop in power consumption by installing
energy efficient LED lighting and computing infrastructure across the Head
Office, launch the NSE Recycles campaign and conducted organisational waste
audit and commenced an in-house recycling project whereby cans, glass &
plastics are collected within our head office and recycled.

Commenting on the report Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema,
said: “Sustainability is a critical component of our business strategy and
publication of this inaugural report marks a significant step towards greater
transparency and robust engagement with our stakeholders and the communities
that we operate in. It is about responsible and inclusive investment services,
increasing opportunity, preserving resources, improving lives, creating jobs
and meeting the needs of the various stakeholders that we serve. We will
continue to leverage our CSR platforms to share how, through efficient utilization
of resources, support of our committed employees and partners, we are
transforming lives and communities.”
Onyema added that to ensure that
there is effective integration of our Corporate Responsibility (CR) goals
across the organisation, The National Council through the Executive Committee
provides governance oversight for the management of sustainability in the
Exchange. Currently, The NSE Executive Committee also serves as the CR
committee.
“As the NSE is a self-regulatory organisation, the council is also
responsible for ensuring that it meets all the conditions of its license as
prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the apex regulator of the
Nigerian capital market), and contained in the in the Investment and Securities
Act, 2007.

In 2015, we plan to increase our stakeholder engagement, encourage
employees to get more involved in our operating community and commence the
process of phased introduction of Sustainability Disclosure in the Nigeria
capital market. We welcome your comments and are open to suggestions that will
enhance our future endeavours, “he said.

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