A United Nations Independent expert and African member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, Professor Damilola Olawuyi (SAN) has called on the federal government to enforce mandatory non-financial reporting on the human rights performance of business enterprises.
Olawuyi who made this call when he paid a courtesy visit to the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC) in Abuja added that mandatory enforcement should be in the form of an essential requirement for addressing adverse environmental, social and governance impacts of business operations on human rights in the country.
While commending the NHRC for its innovative programs and efforts aimed at spearheading awareness and empowerment of business and human rights in Nigeria, Professor Olawuyi emphasised that the courtesy visit to the NHRC, his very first visit since appointed to the Working Group, was a clear statement on how much the global community expects from Nigeria in terms of pioneering legal innovations that will advance the business and human rights agenda.
“Global transparency requirement has moved beyond financial reporting alone. It now includes transparency in non-financial disclosures relating to the social, environmental and human rights aspects of corporate performance,” Professor Olawuyi, said.
In response, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Anthony Ojukwu noted that preparations are already in top gear to organize training and capacity development programs aimed at promoting greater awareness on the responsibilities of businesses in Nigeria to comply with national and international human rights standards and instruments.