HOW DOES LFZDC FACTOR IN THE ATTAINMENT OF THE SDGS INTO ITS OPERATIONS?
Virtually all organizations, including profit and not-for-profit organizations, have clearly defined goals, mission and vision. Lekki Free Zone Development Company (LFZDC) is not an exception. As one of the foremost Free Zone Management Companies in Nigeria, LFZDC manages the South West Quadrant of the Lekki Free Zone in accordance with its clearly defined mission and vision. Specifically, the mission of the company includes; the development of an offshore economic growth zone, attraction of foreign investments, promotion of export, creation of job opportunities, among others. In addition to its explicit mission statement, LFZDC is also involved in fostering positive change in the host communities and the society at large and actively contributes to the attainment of some Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals as the name implies are goals targeted at boosting sustainable development. Colloquially referred to as the SDGs, these are 17 goals (with 169 associated targets) that are primarily targeted at ensuring that people live peacefully; that poverty is eradicated and that the planet is also protected. Formally introduced in September 2015 by the United Nations, these goals are not sector-specific. All government agencies, profit & not-for-profit organizations and even individuals globally are expected to collaboratively act towards proffering and implementing sustainable solutions to these major global problems by the year 2030.
As a for-profit organization, LFZDC has continued to carry out its operations in line with its core missions while also strategically factoring in some of these SDGs into its operations. Essentially, several operational activities of the company are consistent reflection of its devotion to the attainment of the SDGs.
A few of the practical ways through which LFZDC has strategically contributed to the attainment of the SDGs are highlighted below.
Perhaps the foremost example of the company’s efforts in contributing to the attainment of the SDGs is its dedication to building resilient infrastructure (such as: good road network, 12 MW Power Plant, Water Treatment Plant etc) for the existing and prospective business owners within the Free Zone. The company through its numerous activities promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialization and also fosters innovation. This contributes to the attainment of SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Also, by the very nature of its operations as the management company of a free zone, LFZDC actively provides an enabling business environment to investors. With this, more business owners are able to seamlessly establish their businesses within the Zone and this gives them an opportunity to enjoy the numerous incentives available for businesses operating within a free zone. This ultimately promotes the diversification of the economy and contributes to the attainment of the SDG on economic growth (SDG 8).
The company is highly invested in its Corporate Social Responsibility. It is deliberate in its choice of projects that positively impact the host communities. Also, LFZDC ensures that its CSR projects foster the attainment of one SDG or the other. For instance, the company recently completed a well-furnished block of classrooms for one of the primary schools in its host communities. This is basic infrastructure that offers a more effective learning environment for students in line with SDG 4 (Quality Education).
LFZDC is an active employer of labour. It provides employment opportunities to several individuals and offers them decent salaries for their services to the company. There are also several enterprises operating within the zone that provide employment opportunity to lots of indigenes of the host communities. All these promote SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
In conclusion, the Management of LFZDC is fully aware of the importance of these SDGS to people, economy and the planet as a whole. There is therefore no doubt that the company would continue to contribute to the attainment of the SDGs over the coming years.