SPECIAL REPORT – 2022 in View: Examining the Impact of CSR in Nigeria
Top corporate bodies in the Nigerian market are continually evaluating their charitable operations in order to create legacies and maintain brand equity. A few organizations are contemplating initiatives that would allow them to have a direct impact on people’s lives without taking financial gain into account, in addition to the bigger picture of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that can affect society as a whole. Consumer-centric organizations are putting their creative thinking to work to create a notion that is not focused on praise singing, perhaps as a result of CSR suddenly becoming another kind of promotion to some organizations.
With 17 Sustainable Development goals, there are many directions organisations and businesses can take when it comes to CSR operations in Nigeria.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as it is known can be defined as the communal responsibility of a corporate organization towards its host community(ies) and in some other way, the society in which it does/carries out business. It is also a company’s way of giving back to the society/host communities which it benefits from, which is also mutual/synergic/symbiotic partnership. It is done through welfare projects – such as provision of portable drinking water, good/quality health care facilities, rural electrification, low cost housing, education, upgrading/ provision of school facilities, beautification of streets/highways and provision of employment opportunities for the educated/skilled or through technical/vocational skills and Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a platform used by businesses and other corporate organizations in Nigeria to engage with the populace and the environment. While some businesses have designated education as one of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platforms and are assisting in promoting educational development through sponsorships, including the awarding of scholarships and improving school facilities generally, others have lent a hand in supporting the improvement of public infrastructure, including roads and other viable projects.
There are several companies in Nigeria that engaged in corporate social responsibility like the MTN Foundation, Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, TOTAL Energies amongst others. A number of them got awards as a result of their selfless service to the community in 2022. CSR Reporters Awards, Nigeria’s No. 1 Social Responsibility publication has instituted this social impact and sustainability Awards to recognize corporate initiatives in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to achieve inclusive growth and inclusive and sustainable development.
The list of some companies and organizations that invested in CSR in 2022 and the awards they received are discussed below:
- MTN Foundation
The leading telecoms company had so far invested N24.73 billion in various socio-economic interventions which are part of its corporate social responsibility for the Nigerians and Nigeria between 2005 and 2022.
The MTN Nigeria Foundation, which has four cardinal areas of social investments, namely, Youth Development, Arts and Culture, Mother & Child Health and National Priority, undertook different live-improving programmes in Nigeria to better the lives of many citizens and assist Nigeria’s government by regularly performing its corporate social responsibility.
- Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company
This company was recognized as the Best Company in Community & Customer Relations in 2022. Over 694 electricity users in the Port Harcourt electricity distribution zone (comprised of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states) have benefited from power clinic, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED).
The power clinic was flagged off in August 2016 by the management of PHED, to conduct free medical checks on some of its customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States and it has been in operation till 2022.
As a responsive company, the health of its customers was very paramount to it; and that is why it partners with Hygeia in providing free medical checks to its numerous customers out there.
The power clinic is one of the CSR initiatives embarked upon by PHED in contributing positively to its environment.The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company also donated school bags, pencils, and crayons to school children in the four states, during this year’s Children’s Day celebration on 27 May, annually.
- Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Plc
This company received award as Best Environmental Sustainability Practices. Indorama Corporation at large and IEFCL in particular always remain socially responsible and undertake relevant projects & activities in around the communities it operates. The company is highly responsible to the environment, communities and complies with all mandatory & statutory laws, rules and regulations.
Alongside of the Group Company Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, IEFCL has implemented several CSR projects and has also signed an MOU with the hose communities on the investments in such projects.
Currently, their major CSR interventions are as follows:
• Built Community Secondary School in Aleto Eleme, one of the six host communities. The facilities include 12 classrooms, a library, laboratories, staff rooms, Principal’s office, sick-bay etc
• Annual Scholarship scheme for the meritorious students from host communities and also from the communities around our Pipeline facilities.
• Renovated of Eleme General Hospital and donated medical equipment worth over N80 million to the hospital.
• Constructed 33KVA Power sub-station at Akpajo community to enhance rural electrification of the area.
• Construction of Police station for Elelenwo community, an Ikwerre community.
• Construction of Roads in Agbonchia, Njuru and Okerewa communities
• Building of new six class room blocks for Omoku and Uju communities along our pipeline facility.
• Micro-credit scheme for women in the communities, which is meant for poverty alleviation and women empowerment, especially for the widows. The women are being grouped into co-operative societies for easy administration.
Indorama-Nigeria is indeed making its mark in CSR, which has been regarded as a worthy corporate social investment.
- Pinnacle O&G Ltd
Pinnacle has taken adequate steps to ensure corporate social responsibility is not excluded in its operations. They manage their projects in accordance with international best practice, build and maintain relationships with host communities through respectful and open dialogue. Their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives is focused on sustainability and development at the community level and locations where they have business. These include healthcare, education, economic empowerment/ capacity building, infrastructure development and environmental stewardship initiatives.
Their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy extends across all aspects of the business from their own operations and subsidiaries to supply chain. Pinnacle’s commitment to its strong social and environmental values is reflected in its rigorous approach to performance assessment, measurement and evaluation across CSR pillars. Generating shared value with local communities through job creation and skills enhancement has been their intent since inception, and as such, the number of employees recruited from local communities has grown year-on-year.
- Dangote Cement
Dangote Cement was honored at the 2022 Social Impact and Sustainability Practices award of CSR Reporters, Africa’s premier Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability publication. The Ibese plant of the company has taken its social performance initiative a notch higher with the launch of multi-million Naira Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects for its host communities. Over 120 students from primary school to higher institutions received scholarship cheques, while 50 vulnerable women among them widows went home with grinding machines to support their household income.
- BUA CEMENT/ BUA FOODS
BUA Group’s second name could well be known as CSR Champion Group. This is because CSR is constantly at the heart of all members of the group does. BUA Cement and BUA Foods which are some of the leading entities in the group received recognition as Best Company in Healthcare Infrastructure Development Initiative and Best CSR initiatives for poverty alleviation at the 2022 edition of CSR Reporters Awards.
Towards fulfilling their corporate social responsibility, these companies have supported host communities across Nigeria with projects worth Billions and payment of scholarship to indigent students. BUA believes in complimenting government’s efforts in the provision of basic amenities to its host Communities. In the current year (2022), the company has provided similar projects at Gidan Gamba (borehole), Hunde Cibuwa (500KVA transformer).
- IHS Towers Nigeria
IHS is constantly commended for its selflessness and commitment to the upliflting of living standards of its host communities across the length and breadth of not only Nigeria, but all other locations of its operations.
No wonder the company continues to receive several awards for its sustainability and CSR efforts. In 2022 alone, IHS received over 10 awards and commendation both from governments and private entities, including the award of the Overall Most Sustainable Company of the year at the 2022 edition of CSR Reporters’ Awards on Social Impact and Sustainability Practices.
It is to be noted that IHS consistently delivers industry-leading network uptimes even in challenging environments with low grid availability, difficult climates, and political instability. Over the past few years, the company has deployed hybrid power systems including solar and wind power solutions to improve network availability and reduce both diesel dependency and CO2 emissions.
Corporate Sustainability (CS) remains an integral part of IHS mainstream business strategy. Thus, as part of her commitment to progressing a sustainable business, the company engaged the International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) to integrate the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility in all its operations and business relationships in Nigeria. For this reason, a GAP Analysis and Assessment covering the seven principles, seven core subjects and thirty-seven indicators of ISO 26000 SR Guidance Standard in the Company, and the development of appropriate documents including ESG Safeguard to support the Company in implementing a best-in-class social responsibility system.
- TOTALENERGIES Marketing Company
This company received award as Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement at 2022 CSR Reporters Social Impact and Sustainability Awards.
As part of its batch 4 Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, projects, TotalEnergies and partners have commissioned life changing projects in Borno, Benue, Kaduna, Gombe, Delta and Anambra States.
The projects range from a fully equipped solar-powered science laboratory, water treatment plants, a solar-powered ICT centre and a borehole.While the Federal Government Girls College, Gboko, Benue state received a fully equipped solar-powered science laboratory, Nawfia community in Anambra state got two solar-powered boreholes and a water treatment plant.
The borehole with the treatment plant is solar-powered, comprising Grundfos submersible pumps, powered directly by solar panels via solar charge controllers as a power source as well as containerized aeration tank which ensures the protection of both the treatment plant and the quality of water from the borehole. It has a capacity of 40,000 litres of treated water in four 10,000 liters GPee tanks with eight dispensing points. It also includes two functional dispensable units. The first unit is situated inside the school premises, while the second unit is situated outside to serve the surrounding communities. The solar panel and batteries powered facility will ensure constant renewable energy and help to improve the environment through a reduction in emission of greenhouse gases.
A fully equipped solar-powered ICT centre with a mini theatre was handed over to the Federal College of Education, Kongo, Zaria, Kaduna State, and the Doma community in Gombe state.
The building is a 4-wing structure consisting of administrative and technical offices, 2-60 capacity computer laboratories, and an auditorium with restrooms.
The ICT arm has a customized 120 HP computer system with 24 monitors, voltage regulators, computer tables and chairs, wired with coaxial and wireless (D-link router) network facilities, air conditioning, and a server room. Its power-generating unit consists of solar panels, a 35KVA inverter, solar charge controller, batteries, and a 60KVA soundproof generator as backup. The auditorium has a capacity of a 250-seater, inbuilt public address system, 2 projectors screen, in-focus lumens projector, 3500 lumens projector, wireless microphone, air conditioner, surge protector adaptors and accessories.
Also, the Jere community, Borno state, got a solar-powered women development and skills acquisition centre consisting of four training rooms, 15 desktop computers, 34 sewing machines, 400 sitting capacity auditorium, 15KVA generator, staff quarters, catering unit and other facilities.
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC Limited, has expressed commitment towards the reconstruction of selected federal roads as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR.
Already, the NNPC Limited disclosed that it has released N621 billion for the initiative, adding that it would invest over N1 trillion for a similar purpose, targeted at enhancing the distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
In the first phase, the NNPC is constructing a total of 1,804.6 kilometres of roads at a total cost of over N621 billion, with the North-Central getting the highest chunk of N244.87 billion and the South-South emerging the second highest beneficiary of the NNPC roads project with the sum of N172.02 billion.
In addition, the South-West has a total allocation of N81.87 billion; N56.12 billion for the North-East, while the South-East has N43.28 billion allocation. The North-west was allocated N23.05 billion. Under the scheme, the road projects will be funded by NNPC and the equivalent amount deducted by the Federal Inland Revenue Service from the National Oil Company’s tax obligations. Through the scheme, the NNPC will be serving as an enabler for building the Nigerian economy and it is collaborating with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Works and the FIRS on the execution of the initiative.
This is in response to the plight faced by petroleum products marketers in transportation which affects nationwide distribution. Interestingly, the NNPC Limited is involved in operations across the oil and gas value chain from exploration and production of hydrocarbon and processing of natural gas to nationwide distribution of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, and kerosene. The NNPC’s assets base and operations span across different regions of the country and the oil and gas industry has remained one of the biggest and most important economic drivers through foreign and domestic investments.
- The Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR)
This company has scaled up its social intervention programmes around host communities in Adamawa and Nasarawa States where its Backward Integration projects are located. The Group is investing hugely in raw sugar production as part of the Federal Government Sugar Master Plan.
This is coming on the back of $500m that has so far been injected into the project in Nasarawa. Billions of naira have been expended in social intervention schemes around the communities hosting DSR Numan in Adamawa, and Tunga Sugar Project in Nasarawa.
With over 78,000 hectares of farmland in Nasarawa and 32,000 hectares in Adamawa, the company is creating thousands of employment opportunities for Nigerians. Currently, over 600 workers are being engaged, while 90MW is to be generated in the Dangote Sugar Project in Tunga, Nasarawa State.
The Dangote Group is the second largest employer of labour after the federal government. Some of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects executed include the provision of blocks of classrooms, scholarship, water scheme, rehabilitation and opening up of road network, and construction of health centres, among others.
- FIRSTBANK PLC
FirstBank Plc has continued to impact lives across Nigeria. These impacts comprised the partnership with Lagos State Government on the provision of a Primary Health Centre at Ijedodo Community, Lagos State; engagements with over 60 charities, orphanages, correctional centres, schools and Internally Displayed Persons Camps which resulted in touching the lives of over 20,000 underprivileged individuals. FirstBank CSR Week also offered employees opportunities to give their time & resources to defined causes.
- TONY ELUMELU FOUNDATION
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, selected over 5000 entrepreneurs from across Africa for its 2022 Entrepreneurship Programme.
The beneficiaries were selected from a pool of over 400,000 applications, based on their innovation, performance, and growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty on the continent. Consisting of both new start-ups and existing small businesses, the 2022 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs have undergone world-class business training, mentorship and coaching and will have a life-time access to the Tony Elumelu Foundation alumni network. Since its inception, the Tony Elumelu Foundation has now funded a total of 15,847 entrepreneurs who have created more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs and counting.
- UBA FOUNDATION
UBA Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has completed the construction of a pedestrian bridge valued at about N13m for students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State (UDUS), thus bringing comfort to students of the institution. For over four decades, the students of UDUS, especially those living off-campus faced difficulties in connecting to the campus especially during the rainy season, due to the poor state of the road. They couldn’t get in and out of their dormitories and had to use an uncomfortably long route to get to lectures and the mosque. UBA CSR programs has fostered local community participation to limit dependence and promote the concept of self-help development. UBA Foundation believes in intervening and building capacity within the community to facilitate projects that act as a catalyst to social and economic development. Some of the contributions and donations the Foundation makes to improve adverse living condition include.
It is to be noted that many organizations are singled out not because of the brand’s image created in the market space but rather as a result of the impact or value created by the quality of their investments in the area of CSR.