Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the corporate insurance carrier of Allianz SE, hosts Allianz Group’s ESG Business Services team and has identified five key trends that will impact businesses’ ESG footprint in 2020 and beyond: climate change, water management, biodiversity degradation, exploitation in the supply chain and increasing scrutiny on corporate governance.
1: Address climate change in business strategy
Combatting climate change is the key challenge of the coming decade. It ranks 7th in the Allianz Risk Barometer 2020 – its highest-ever position – and is already affecting businesses in many ways, such as an increase in physical losses from more severe weather events or potential market and regulatory impacts such as carbon-emissions offsetting. There are also litigation risks as climate change cases targeting ‘carbon majors’ have already been brought in 30 countries around the world, with most cases filed in the US.
2: Ensure access to fresh water for communities
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion – while global water demand is expected to increase by 20% to 30%, mainly due to demand in the industrial and domestic sectors. Currently over two billion people are living in areas of high water stress and almost half of the global population – about four billion people – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. “Water is a big issue for citizens and companies, alike,” says Bonnet. “Not just concerns about its abundance, but also its purity, its scarcity in a warming climate and its over-use and poor management.”
3: Protect biodiversity and finite resources
Oceans full of plastic waste, species extinction and severe land degradation due to storm, drought or increasing industrialization, as demonstrated in the felling of the Amazon rainforest, are just some of the most obvious examples of the deterioration of the planet. Sustainable consumption practices can slow future biodiversity loss.
4: Prevent human right violations in supply chains
Human exploitation can take on many forms in the business environment – forced labor, child labor or insufficient labor standards – and it can be difficult to detect in today’s global supply chains. It is estimated that around 40 million people are trapped in modern slavery globally. Industries such as textiles, food and agriculture, electronics, sports, construction, or hospitality have been connected to modern slavery, although all sectors are vulnerable.
5: Governance issues continue to demand business diligence
Businesses and their directors are under increasing pressure to maintain sound corporate governance, as more investors, in evaluating a company, hold it up to ESG standards. Acts of corporate misconduct such as bribery or corruption, inadequate handling of data privacy, financial misconduct and money-laundering have all made headlines in recent years.
FCCPC: Electricity Topped Consumers’ Complaints In 2020
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it received the highest consumer related complaints from the electricity sector in 2020.
Speaking in Abuja on Sunday, Babatunde Irukera (pictured), chief executive officer of FCCPC, said the banking and telecommunication sectors ranked second and third respectively on the complaints chart.
He added that the aviation sector was ranked fourth.
“Our complaints resolution team is still a very small team of people and they are dealing with thousands of complaints,” Irukera said.
“We are looking at expanding capacity to have more hands handling the complaints but the real game changer in handling complaints better and faster is for companies to start doing it.
“The person who has the least open complaint in our resolution team has about 800 complaints across sectors and that is one person. If you multiply it by 12 to 15 persons, you will imagine the number of complaints.
“Being able to expand to a point where we are able to operate more efficiently, we will keep training, leveraging technology, the more we leverage technology, the more efficiently we can do our work.”
The commission was established by the 2018 Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) to promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy, facilitate access by all citizens to safe products, and protect the rights of all consumers in Nigeria.
FEC Approves CBN’s Request To Renovate National Theatre For N21b
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said on Wednesday that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the ministry of information and culture for the renovation of the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos.
He spoke at the end the weekly FEC meeting in Abuja.
The federal government, on July 12, 2020, handed over the national theatre to CBN and the bankers’ committee to signify the kick-start of the renovation process.
“This is a landmark approval because, it has paved the way for investment in the creative industry as part of the resolve of this government to create at least one million jobs in the next three years in the creative industry,” Mohammed said.
“The CBN and banker’s committee are willing to invest N21.894 billion to renovate, refurbish and commercialization (run it profitably) of the national theatre complex. The MoU has a life span of 21 years after which it will revert back to government.”
The minister assured that no job will be lost after the national theatre is renovated, adding that the “brand new national theatre, an event centre” will instead create more jobs.
Asides from this, FEC approved about N9.43 billion to complete the digital switch over (DSO) in broadcasting; N8.98 billion for a new national ICT park in the federal capital territory (FCT) to coordinate public and private ICT hubs in Nigeria.
The council also approved a new national policy on aging which would take care of the needs of the aged people across Nigeria; approved the ministry of water resources memo to construct Damaturu water supply project in Yobe state worth N8.43 billion.
Adesina identifies Debt Service As Greatest Risk To Nigeria
The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has warned that debt service is Nigeria’s greatest risk, even as he urged the federal government to take steps to increase tax revenue in the face of dwindling oil income.
The Director of Communications and Liaison of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Abdullahi Ahmad, stated that he spoke virtually at the recently held First Annual National Tax Dialogue .
Dr. Adesina was quoted as saying that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s economy shrank “by 3% in 2020 on account of falling oil prices and the effects of the lockdowns on economic activities,” adding, “with shrinkage in oil revenues, debt service payments pose the greatest risk to Nigeria.”
He stressed further that for Nigeria to overcome the pandemic, “taxes must form a significant percentage of government revenue. Digitalization of tax collection and tax administration is critical to ensure greater transparency of the tax system, widening of the tax base, while mitigating compliance risks and encouraging voluntary tax compliance.”
Tax experts and stakeholders at the event called for the automation of tax collection by the FIRS through data and intelligence in order to ease tax collection, as well as, improve revenue.
Executive Secretary, African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Mr. Logan Wort, harped on the place of technology in generating revenue for the country in a post-Covid economy.
Mr. Wort, who joined the dialogue virtually from South Africa, stated, “Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) is expected to contribute at least 75% to 90% on average per country” in the post-Covid era, adding that Nigeria and other African countries should note, “improved tax revenue will have to take prime position” in the scheme of things.
He urged Nigeria to pay serious attention to e-commerce and the digital economy sector where big, trans-national digital conglomerates like Google, Netflix and Uber operate and make huge, tax-free profits as a possible way of increasing tax revenue generation.
He said Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Ghana in e-commerce taxation, projected to fetch Ghana $450 million in annual tax revenue.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was chairman of the Dialogue, was quoted as lauding the FIRS “for its performance in the 2020 fiscal year, despite operating in the most challenging period. The Service not only collected N4.9 trillion in taxes, achieving 98% of its target; only 30.6% of this was attributed to Petroleum Profits Tax, from what used to be over 50%”.
He urged participants to, “interrogate how Nigeria can further deepen the use of technology to improve tax compliance nationally and across sub-nationals.”