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Integrating ESG in Building Sustainable Cities and Communities - Sustainable Conversations
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Integrating ESG in Building Sustainable Cities and Communities

With the emergence of 2020, we are exactly TEN (10) years away from the total fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Zeroing in on Goal 17: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,’ with the expectation that by 2030, there would be a significant reduction in mortality rates and the number of affected persons, which will substantially decrease the record of direct economic losses, with great emphasis on protecting both the poor and disadvantaged persons in the society.

Albeit, considering the daily ton of man-made disasters that stare us right in the face, we cannot but wonder if we are walking to or from this vision.

According to news reports, a pipeline explosion occurred, recently, at the Ekoro area of Abule-Egba, Lagos State, Nigeria, at about 20:00hrs. The explosion was stated to have been triggered by the actions of hoodlums, who ruptured the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s pipeline in the area, in a bid to steal fuel.

The impact, which was quite fatal was reported by the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who stated, “…five fatalities including three adult males, one adult female, and a five-year-old child were discovered. Also, twenty people were treated for minor injuries and discharged at the scene, while one hundred and fifty people including children were displaced…”

In view of its adverse impacts as typified in the loss of lives, properties, economic losses, environmental degradation, and pipeline explosions, it is very glaring that oil pipeline vandalism portends serious danger for the national sustainability of our nation. In black and white, our nation is not safe.

While it holds true that pipeline failures can be catastrophic, they can be avoided. I mean, there should not be a word such as ‘Rebuild’ if destruction is non-existent! We can get it right, that is what we on about. Yes, we can! With the right systems and structures in place, we can set the records straight.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Eastern Zone has explained that the recurring vandalism of pipelines by hoodlums to siphon petroleum products could become a thing of the past if State Governors, who the pipelines run through their states, monitor and provide adequate security to prevent their destruction. Chairman of the zone, Chief Ezinwa, in an interview, said the porous security network at the course way of the pipelines and the indifference of some State Chief Executives were providing vandals the leeway to destroy pipes and siphon fuel, diesel, and kerosene with impunity.

Also, we want to emphasize the need for job creations and economic empowerment for the youths in our society. Supposing these thieves are apprehended, for instance, one of the ‘legit reasons’ they would throw at us is the fact that they are determined to survive at all cost as there are no jobs for them. While this is not an excuse that is excusable enough, we cannot deny that desperate times call for desperate measures.

In closing, we would love to lend our voices to the leaders of our nation while extending our call to every well-meaning citizen of our beloved nation that all hands must be on deck as no vision is self-fulfilling. If we are going to have a nation that would be free from man-made disasters, we would all have to do our little bit by making sure that we contribute our own quota starting from where we are and wherever we may find ourselves per time. And to effectively achieve this, we must all be united in our hearts towards this course thereby eliminating mindsets and actions that would frustrate this vision. This way, our nation would be on her way to embracing sustainable cities and communities.

Oh, we do not forget the families that may be grieving at this period as a direct result of yesterday’s explosion; while we may lack the right words, we, however, want you to know that you are in our thoughts and we can only but pray that you are comforted and that a restoration happens for you.

And to our audience, let’s make a commitment towards rebuilding Nigeria for the better. Remember, it starts with you right where you are.

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