As Nigerian financial regulators look ahead to the December 2019 deadline to fully comply with the demands of the Nigerian Sustainable Finance Roadmap, developed by the Financial Services Regulation Coordinating Committee (FSRCC), a Nigerian professor, Kenneth Amaeshi, has said that the regulators need to make sustainability agenda stick in their respective industries by imbibing sustainability as a culture, before reaching out to those they regulate.
Amaeshi, a professor of business and sustainable development at the University of Edinburgh Business School, United Kingdom, in an op-ed piece sent to Businessamlive and published under the Comment Section, said regulators need to practise what they preach, by demonstrating committed leadership from top management, noting that for a long while, Nigerian businesses and regulators have treated sustainability as a dispensable philanthropic option.
“For these regulators to avoid approaching sustainability as a box-ticking exercise, as the case might often be, they need to make the sustainability agenda stick in their respective industries by imbibing sustainability as a culture and as a journey, first and foremost, before reaching out to those they regulate. In other words, they need to walk the talk. They need to practise what they preach. They cannot ask those they regulate to do what they, as regulators, cannot do. Therefore, in order for the regulators to walk the talk, they must demonstrate committed leadership from top management,’’ he wrote.
He expressed the view that sustainability has become so imperative in the financial services industry today that financial regulators can no longer ignore it.
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‘’Financial regulators would, therefore, need to walk the talk, and be seen to do so, in order to maintain the legitimacy to guide and direct their industry. This is no longer an option, as well,” he stressed in the piece.
He called for the foundation journey already started to be sustained, noting: “Some have begun the sustainability journey very well. However, the journey would now need to be sustained; and this cannot happen without a strong and visionary leadership commitment from top management. Leaving the task for middle managers and or ad hoc committees, as it seems to be the case in most of the financial regulatory institutions in Nigeria is not an effective approach and could be a recipe for disaster and inertia.’’