Unilever pledges five million jobs for Nigerians
The Global Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Plc, Paul Polman has pledged the commitment of the organisation towards creating about five million jobs for Nigerians even as he urged government to put in place necessary infrastructure for the realisation of the plan.
Polman said this on Tuesday during an interactive session organised by the company in partnership with Lagos Business School (LBS).
He explained that the issue of inclusion and job creation are significant ways to curb enormous social divide existing in global societies, pointing out that agriculture can be a part of the tool for making it happen.
“Four percent of food produced in Nigeria, get wasted; companies must help in preventing such waste, reducing deforestation and think of turning wastes as product for some-else. We have the responsibility to put the interest of others people first before our own interest to make the world a better place”, he said.
The Unilever boss said the organization was promoting its brand by using its large size to drive value change in the areas of; education, sanitation, woman empowerment, gender equality, and poverty eradicationacross the world.
Delivering a lecture titled: “Building Sustainable and Profitable Businesses in Volatile Times-Inspiring the next generation of Leaders”, he stated that government alone could not handle sustainable development, hence there is the need for partnership adding that the only purpose of business is to serve the society.
“Why should society accept business that do not contribute to the society. Companies that don’t make conscious effort to be a positive contributor to the society doesn’t sound meaningful”, he said.
He urged the youths to join youth advocacy network to work out issues that are closer to their hearts, participate in politics as recent researches across Europe indicate a drastic decline in young people playing significant role in the political development of their country.
Also, Chairman of Julius Berger, Nigeria, MutiuSunmonu, said Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) must be ready to conduct research on areas that they could meaningfully contribute to the growth and development of the country.He said this was important has recent findings reveal that must SME’s die out within 5years of establishment due to lack of wisdom and resources to sustain them.
Also speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for energy and Mineral Resources, Wale Oluwo stressed the need for SME’s to be prepared to access the N25Billion intervention fund to be disbursed as empowerment to youths.He said within the concept of decent business environment, the state government plans to generate more energy to provide light for schools, businesses and efficient lighting of streets.
In her remarks, the Chairman of Access Bank PLC, Mrs. MosunOlusoga, advised youths to access SMEs’ programme put in place by the bank to make themselves CEO’s of companies as well as be able to employ others.