Prominent on the list are the Ministers of Water Resources and Environment, Engr Suleiman Adamu and Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi respectively; alongside other well known names like Pa Akintola Williams, Co-Founder of Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Idoniboye-Obu, Founding Member and Pioneer President of Nigeria Environmental Society (NES), Prof. Sunday Ajayi, First African Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Prof. Magnus Onuoha, First African Professor of Green Economics, Desmond Majekodunmi, Gbemisola Akosa amongst others. And surprisingly, names not readily associated with the environment such as Naomi Nwokolo, Nigeria Country Director, UN Global Compact, who leads business-led sustainability initiatives and oversees 129 top corporate organizations in Nigeria and Bekeme Masade-Olowola, founder CSR-in-Action, who has developed an enviable capacity in sustainability processes and reporting.
Principal Consultant of TwoFourSeven Communications, Stephen Ipalibo Lawson, says “It was really a case of nail biting and hair pulling. There are so many professionals in the sector who stand out with so many innovative solutions, interventions and drive”
“At the end, we had to do a balancing act to figure out who could stay on the list or not. And obviously, that balancing act meant we had to go beyond the traditional and be quite dynamic on representation”, he concluded.
“For instance, we focused more on those offering much more dynamic interventions within the sector than just one facet of it. Or pick someone based on actual influence on policy and representation with real time impact than otherwise, in as much as that impact is felt locally”
Among the factors used were;
1. Practice – Those who have developed industry shaping indigenous capacity in Environmental service sectors.
2. Advocacy – Advocacy that has shaped policies and changed major Dynamics of interactions within the sector
3. Influence – Majorly refers to those in positions of executive authority and across sector representation
4. Mentorship – This refers to pioneers who have contributed and still contributing to the development of the sector
The list covers professionals invested in climate action, waste management, green energy, remediation activities, corporate sustainability, environmental infrastructure, policy and advocacy.
“With the recent floods, unveiling the list is deliberate as it provides an opportunity for us all to step back and look at what the professionals listed here signify; hope and determination. It gives us a sense that we have the requisite capacity to engage ourselves; and if only we can allow ourselves, to find the capacity within us to deal with all sorts of environmental crises and proffer solutions’
“So, we do believe with this wealth of experience, capacity, youth and determination; the brain and grit trust in the environmental industry is alive and available for use here in-country”, says Editor of Environment Africa Magazine, Sam Nwosu.
Environment Africa Magazine shall publish the profiles of the listed professionals highlighting their individual capacities in a digital issue while certificates of recognition will be presented to them at a ceremony to be held in Lagos on 16th of December, 2022 during the magazine’s SEA Awards of Excellence.