By Jim Rex-Lawson Moses
The Cambridge dictionary defines well-being as the state of feeling healthy, and happy. Dictionary. Com, defines well-being as a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness and prosperity. From these two definitions, Nigeria’s well-being can be said to be the summation of the welfare of her people.
Nigeria, in 2018 became the poverty world capital with about 87 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty overtaking India’s 73 million. The report, published by Brooking Institution further added that the number of people in extreme poverty was increasing every six minutes.If the foregoing is anything to go by in a country with about 220 million people, then the reality on ground is that the nation is faced with crisis ranging from hunger, poorly nourished and a sick population. The relationship between poverty and well-being cannot be overemphasized. And the well-being of the populace of any nation is directly proportional to their state of welfare.
Going by the United Nation’s (U.N) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to achieve a more sustainable future for all by the year 2030, poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, are top on this blue print. The SDGs also clearly States that economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs. According to the SDGs index of 2018 released by the UN, the best-performing countries are the northern European nations all of which have a hstory of balancing economic, social and environmental issues.
While the foregoing is advancing the well-being of the people of these nations and creating a sustainable future for them, it is sad to note that in a poverty stricken nation like ours, most corporate organizations are smiling to the bank, paying deaf ears to the concept of shared values and sustainability, engaging sometimes only in Corporate Social Responsibility activities as a result of pressure.
According to Winston Churchill, healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have. If good nutrition is the basic building block of human capital, it is instructive to note that there is a relationship between poverty and nutrition, and that it has become imperative for companies to play a leading role in feeding people. Corporates can improve their bottom lines while providing for nutrition, they should see the need to move beyond balance sheets concepts to a balanced development through shared value concepts because only a healthy and economically viable citizenry can patronise their goods and services. On the other hand, a poor and malnourished population will ultimately affect productivity, the nation’s GDP, and will also result to higher budgetary outlays to take care of the sick.
It is also worthy to note that only corporates creating shared values will remain in business in the future. Corporate organisations should wake up and begin to develop innovative ways of empowering the citizens socially and economically while positively impacting the environment like Nestlé, for a sustainable future. Failure on the part of corporate organizations to wake up to these realities will ultimately have a negative effect on the future of Nigeria, her population and the nation in general.