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How Socially Responsible Are Companies In Nigeria?

There's a lot of advantage we can get from the responsibilities taken up by those who benefit from the Nigerian soil.

The Ajose Adeogun road was constructed by Zenith. Some companies encouarge sports, others support education; knowing socially responsible companies will help us know those who give back and by implication help us determine where to put how kobo-kobo.

Thanks for sharing.

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Media coverage as a result of CSR throws a company in public light same for NGO's who partner with them in the process. When that happens the work for which they are celebrated is put in public glare and you and I are able to confirm or contest the activities for which they are praised.

Who is doing what out there?

Is there any other name for CSR?

For those who do not believe in CSR or ISR, how can the society benefit from corporate gains knowing that government are far from carrying out their responsibilities?

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Here is a quote from Wikipedia.org that further buttresses my point:

"A widely quoted definition by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development states that "Corporate social responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large." (CSR: Meeting Changing Expectations, 1999). This holistic approach to business regards organizations as (for example) being full partners in their communities, rather than seeing them more narrowly as being primarily in business to make profits and serve the needs of their shareholders." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility

This quote is taken from the last paragraph of that writeup - in the section titled: Development and analysis.

Diverse view points are precisely what makes a forum great. We do not all have to see issues the same way. I still love my brothers and sisters who have other points of view, and I will not have it any other way. God bless.

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Good point.

More of that, what's happening at your end? Let's hear it if you know about companies that are wetting the ground.

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@Mindspring,

good contributions.

@Seun,

Going about your business in a very honest manner does not really have much to do with CSR. Many dishonest companies are helping more than the honest ones. Can govts anywhere handle the development of their countries alone?

Whatever is done by the companies does contribute to their image wherever they operate but there is hardly a society that does not need some help from the organizations operating there. This is how communities develops.

The university is probably the only institution in Nigeria today that turns out products it cannot sell. These products are used by the manufacturers, oil and telecom coys, etc. There has to be some serious support by these consumers for the universities to continue to function even if they are allowed to charge market driven school fees.

Mobil and Chevron gives continuous annual support to institutions in the US (please check University of Oklahoma, Tulsa), they sponsor many research works in various institutions and end up reaping the benefits when the results are released.

Agriculture in Nigeria is still very backward with hoe and cutlass being used to produce food for 140million people! You cannot imagine what will happen if Nestle and Cadbury invest in research to aid the production of egg powder in Nigeria. BAT has been giving scholarships to children of farmers supporting them (by planting tobacco) for years.

There are many examples that could be sited but CSR is a must as long as the private sector is the backbone of any economy.

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Thank goodness there are still good sensible people around

The only thing that might be separating your company from the others in a very competitive market is your CSR.In the long run CSR/reputation boost profits usually

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Wow! It is amazing to me that some of us do not understand how society as a whole benefits from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Corporations in developed countries set aside a percentage of their revenues for activities that will benefit members of the society they depend on to make their profits. Why will someone say that it is a waste of a company's resources to set up a scholarship fund that will benefit students that cannot afford to pay their way through university? Will those same students not graduate and become productive members of society? Is it possible that when those students graduate that they will become the human capital that these same companies will need to continue to grow into the future?

Is it possible that if students get scholarships from corporations that they will drastically reduce their chances of resorting to armed robbery, thereby making our society a safer place to live and work? Is it possible that the student whose education is sponsored by a corporation could become the scientist that discovers the cure to the common diseases that kill our loved ones?

How can you not see that CSR is an investment in the future of Nigeria? If you use this same logic you will see that if corporations have profit-making as their sole objective we will be creating a society without a conscience and the same ills that we are fighting to eradicate will continue to plague us. Selfishness and myopia are the reasons we are mired in corruption. I strongly support CSR and believe that our corporations are not doing enough. Was it not president Kennedy that said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". This is the reason why the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the number one country in the world today. American corporations participate seriously in CSR, and their government gives them a tax break as a result. They go out of their way to encourage it, because it is a good thing.

The proof of whether it works or not can be seen in how the CEOs of the top American companies always get their companies to give back to the top universities they attended. As a result of their giving, these universities have become bastions of knowledge that has served mankind and especially the developed countries - where the application of knowledge is practiced. CSR works and if you can't see that it is an investment in our collective future, then you are not among the few we need to build a new Nigeria where opportunities abound - a Nigeria where the youth do not have to run to foreign countries because they cannot find jobs in theirs - a Nigeria where politicians do not have to fly to foreign countries to get a physical check up because they failed to give corporations enough incentives to invest in good health facilities. Ladies and gentlemen. I can go on and on, but I will stop here for now. May God help us find wise men and women to lead us out of the darkness of corporate social irresponsibility.

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There is a limit to what we should expect from "companies" in Nigeria in the name of "Social Responsibility". When you start ascribing repsonsibilities that clearly belong to government to them, I will ask you why they keep having to pay big taxes. If a company has to build schools, construct roads and bridges and then undertake all other community dev. programmes, what then will government do?

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Honestly I don't hold your view 4 Play so I'll let it pass.

Jesu Seun; I had an opportunity of doing a Community Development project in Niger too, this no doubt pass for ISR.

We really should be thinking of ISR. If the dundu (fried yam) seller by the road side who has been forced to make a living by the road becomes socially responsible she may jolly well decide to fix the blocked drain or provide a trash can (hopefully that won't become a menace).

In praise of those who have contrinuted to improving the society; Nestle through the Milo Basket Ball Tournament supports the development of especially the young ones. De-United Foods Industries Limited (Indomie Noodles) helps those who have taken to street food selling with Kiosks; I know this raises another argument, should they be selling on the street? But,  Globacom is pulling her weight behind the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea.

Sure, SR is an investment; so much branding and merchandising goes with the delivery. But it's an option worth exploring especially in a country where tax even if duly paid is never well utilised by the government.

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Society, by demonising corporations, makes it imperative that they do

some "charitable works" but in the ideal world, they shouldn't be doing so.

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Corporations should maximize their profits and pass it on its investors/employees so they can use it for charity.

If I am investing my own personal money in charity, I'll make sure that every kobo counts. That's the right way.

(But if you're throwing your big company's money into charity, you won't be as diligent as the private philanthropist.)

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I think CSR IS AN investment,let us ponder on dis impacts,

-GLO investment in sports and payment of berti votgs salary, they hav branded our sports.who will hold them responsible if they have fail to do it.ponder

Zenith bank has suceeded in branding Ajose Adeogun rd and d Roundabout.I m sure all there adverts on d road will be free,''he who pays d pipe dictates d tune'',can imagine how much dey would hav pay to d State Govt pocket 4 dos bill board adverts if dey had not taken d initiative.who will hold them responsible if they have fail to do it.ponder

Daystar church rehabiltates Oregun High Schl Hall and street light in d schl, ANd also donates materials to d student.i know dey must have taught d students who are future leaders something about CSR.it is an investment,because weather will like it or not some of d students will be convince to be a member in future.who will hold them responsible if they have fail to do it.ponder!

Bank PHB Sponsor of d intern show,dat has raised 10 business world class young entreprenues.who will hold them responsible if they have fail to do it.ponder

bISHOP mike okonkwo yearly essay competition.who will hold them responsible if they have fail to do it.ponder

and so on.I believe we can as well add to d list of companies dat has contributed to d society thru CSR.

d best way to keep what we have is to give it out because it will come back to us in good returns.infact we should even be looking into INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILTY [ISR],i Believe we can as well stand in d gap 4 Govt,there are some little things we can do to impact lives and affect destiny.I remember when I was serving in Minna Niger state.I took it upon myself to be visiting children in the minna orphanage home and d remand home for counselling.During my visits I discover d orphanage water tank is bad that was donated by a past serving corper.inaddition I also discover the children write on d wall,dey dont have blackboard.I was moved to provide the solution.

It wasnt easy raising d funds,but at d ends God works things out,I RAISED 70% of d funds from d indigenes and 30% from myself to implement d project.At d end of d day,d children have access to water,dey hav a black board and a sigh board to d orphanage,dey were happy on d day d commission ,D perm Secretary who chaired d occasion was moved with passion,He donated 10k for d orphanage.Developed Countries are build on CSR + ISR

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seun,

have you ever come across "half bread is better than none"

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Charitable activities can bring tremendous PR benefits, of course. I'm not disputing that. (People really are gullible.)

But I'm saying that companies that practice charity do not contribute substantially more to society than those that don't. Charitable activities need constant monitoring to achieve their intended objectives, but a company that's just trying to obtain PR benefits doesn't have an incentive to spend its resources on monitoring. As long as they get some media coverage, they really don't care whether their their "CSR" is helpful on the long term. As a result of that, most of the benefit of "CSR" flows into the pockets of professional NGO people. That's my 2nd point.

My 1st point is that companies are not obligated to "give back". They already give a lot in the course of business.

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there was once a big argument in my class whether CSR is a cost or an investment,

as usual , there were people for both sides,

at the end the lecturer said, it is one of the greatest investments companies undertake because [belive it or not], these companies get a fraction if not more of their investment back.

do you know that they actually utilise alot of investment techniques for CSR i.e Cost Benefit Analysis, DCF etc.

i just read about some water purifying stuff, P&G developed and could not sell adequately,

they turned it to CSR( indonesia, malawi) and they are actually winning awards with it with an increase in stock price

when i finish, we will offer consultancy services in CSR

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Akara, I doubt that this is so. Every one knows what it is to give back; whether it is being done or not is another issue.

I kind of support the view that SR is an investment. If the road to your company is bad and you don't support fixing it, you not only lose business, it sends out a bad signal to the society.

While a number of oil companies are having problems with natives, Mobil has enjoyed a level of stability. One of the reasons being that in the area where their business is located in Eket power outage does not exist as in there is power 24/7. If they had failed to do this in addition to other contributions I'm not sure business can continue on a daily basis as usual. If one company can do that don't you think supporting such initiatives will have a huge effect on the economy?

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We may not agree about what constitute SR or whether it is or should be carried out by companies (not just banks). The argument about what CSR is or is not could also go on forever but we can take a look at what some companies have done or what others have failed to do.

Talking about FATE Foundation; it's indeed a beautiful initiative but how well are the aspiring entrepreneurs supported so that they actually establish a businesses?

I'm aware that Intercontinental Bank in addition to sponsoring education also support infrastructure in some schools. Zenith Bank also renovated (I don't know if they were supported by other companies) the Ajose Adeogun road. You should have seen what Danmole Street in Victoria Island looked like before it was fixed by (I guess) Intercontinental Bank.

Whether you see this as charity or not it has improved their profile and by implication impacted on their profit in addition to making life better fro everyone who now use the road

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I agree that businesses should solely be concerned about making profits, but the problem we seem to have here is that you guys see CSR as a cost. I strongly believe that CSR is not a cost but a wise investment I will take time to explain why CSR is an investment rather than a cost later

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They have a long way to go in my books, I dont think some know what it means,

Its alien to the 'normal business' culture.

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i read about this "adopt a school" thingy that the ministry of education is promoting

Oando adopting 250 schools

some other companies work with FATE Foundation to do some stuff

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Nite Angel business is SOLEY for profit and status. But why must people go the crook way if the hook way just don't hook it?

Some people who run businesses have a conscience you know. We nigerian's have to start towing the honest line.

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Thanks all.

Seun, when you say the only social responsibility is not to cheat; isnt that going beyond what we can control? Beyond fulfilling a need businesses are mainly for profit and often when the hook way doesn't work the next line of action ever before thinking of quiting is the crook way.

And 4 Play says no charity, when obviously these companies get a lot more than they are willing to give back in reference to tax.

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For me, the only responsibility Companies owe society is to ensure that the companies are run efficiently and without impropriety.I would be unhappy,as a shareholder,to hear that company funds are being used for charity.

Well run companies create jobs,foster economic growth,avail the public with cost effective and quality products and pay taxes to the Govt.That is sufficient discharge of their responsibility

Any suggestion that Companies owe a responsibility to do charity is counterproductive and in the long term not in the interest of society

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Companies in Nigeria are making impact without CSR. CSR is only popular in the US because of tax breaks and the public relations benefit (people are so gullible). The true impact of a business in society is in customer service.

- I am browsing the web today at an affordable because of my ISP. Is that not impact?

- I can buy get a mobile phone line for a ridiculous price today because of Globacom. Is that not impact?

- You can ask questions and get free answers on Nairaland, a commercial website. Is that not impact?

- You can search for information on google and find it, yet they are making billions. Is that not impact?

Companies are best at what they do: providing valuable services and making money for their employees and investors. It is now up to the investors and employees to use that money to pursue charity on their own.

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It is high time we don't always depend on our government to do everything for us.

Companies in nigeria can make some impact.

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@Seun: CSR is what keeps America running.

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Its nice to see a lot of Nigerian companies are taking Corporate Social responsibility(CSR) serious,However the same can not be said about most foreign companies in Nigeria who think it is their right to do the opposite , no thanks to their supporters in government.

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Corporate social responsibility should not be about charity.

It should be about not being corrupt; not cheating people.

Any thief can go into 'charity' as a way of laundering his ill-gotten wealth, but that's not the answer in my opinion.

If you choose to go about your business in a very honest manner,

then you're socially responsible in my book. Your activities will inevitably benefit others.

Companies in Nigeria are not socially responsible: they cheat, disappoint customers, and manipulate the government.

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thanks nite angel for dis thread,I think personally Nigeria is where we arem today because there has not being a good participation of privates companies in Public infrastructural development.most especially banks that declares billion of naira as profits.

for a country to grow,there has to be a Combination of INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILIES AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

We need private companies ,that will build and rehabilate Schools,orphanages,old peoples homes,pedestrian brigdes,public library and so on.our problem is dat everyone look up to Govt for everytin,Iwill advise dat we must all look inward and see what we can contribute to d building of a New Nigeria.

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