All over the world, the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards national growth and development is not only important to members of communities alone but to brand owners as well.
Besides a universally accepted role in philanthropic work of corporations, CSR projects are today achieving greater sustainability in their efforts resulting in growth and change in communities.
This evolution has been possible due to the collaboration of corporations with the development sector, especially none governmental organisations (NGOs).
Report shows that, from the past five decades, the western world has been looking at several dimensions of CSR; legal, ethical as well as discretionary.
But in Nigeria, It is only in recent years that dedicated CSR departments and staffs have appeared in companies.
These trained professionals are designing effective community oriented projects which are transforming communities albeit in a small focussed manner.
While it is still contested whether corporations should have social responsibilities beyond a wealth generating function, the world is increasingly seeing corporations fulfilling broader social goals.
These have been happening within business firms with initiatives like changing methods of production to reduce environmental impacts, changing employee relations both within the firm and across the firms’ supply chains.
The initiatives outside the firm include making infrastructural investments in local communities or as more widely seen in philanthropic community initiatives.
Speaking to Daily Times on this issue, a brand management consultant, Bernard Okhakume said, “national Development is based on the principles of fairness, equality, accountability, opportunity, choice, participation, mutuality, reciprocity and continuous learning with core emphasis on Educating, Enabling and Empowering community members.
True development is facilitated when citizens from all strata of society engage together with a sense of national solidarity through combined processes, programs, strategies, and activities.
While speaking on individuals or group that could be potential partners for national development through CSR, he said; “the external organizations which can be potential partners for Corporate Citizenship include government and non-government organizations, corporations such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations.
The emphasis should be on instilling creativity and self-reliance in the community for short and long term goals taking forward Community development as an educational as well as an organizational process.”
“technology corporations can benefit community and support business objectives through their CSR laden technical expertise by facilitating data collection for public organizations.
Ex. Intel and IBM in U.S. assisted under-staffed police departments by collecting and processing information of regions with high crime rate.” He added.
He also stated that, “through CSR, organizations evolve a corporate sustainability framework based on a set of economic, social and environmental objectives which are progressive.
For developed a methodology to assess the employee perspective on sustainable business practices (SBP) which throws light on a corporation’s commitment to be ethically responsible for contributing improving the quality of life of all its stakeholders thus yielding to economic development.” He noted.
Also speaking, the national president of the committee of the defence of human rights (CDHR) comrade Gbenga Soloki said; “one of the things that has been responsible for our backwardness in Nigeria is bad government and high level of corruption.
We intuitively think of corruption as sand in the wheels of prosperity. This is surely true. Corruption reduces the incentive for a small entrepreneur or a big firm to invest.
This robs us of the industry I said was so important, and with it jobs and growth. In many ways, corruption is like a tax on business, one that seldom finds its way into providing public goods.”
“The government must ensure there is enabling environment for businesses to succeed. Because it is only when businesses succeed that business owners will start thinking of giving back to the society without looking back.” He added