By Kenneth Orusi, Asaba
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), also known as Corporate Conscience (CC), Corporate Citizenship (CC), or Corporate Business (CB), is the responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on the society, the environment and its own prosperity.
Not only do responsible, sustainable and transparent approaches of CSR help to build brands and reputation, they help strengthen the communities and therefore, the marketplace as well.
Corporate Social Responsibility requires that, organisations sees themselves as part of the environment of their host communities by identifying positively with their economic, social and cultural aspirations.
They could achieve these by involving in active community base projects, awareness initiatives and payment of royalties, compensation and dues to host communities to putting education at all levels among people of the areas and philanthropists activities.
It also means that, corporate social responsibility has the potentials to contribute to sustainable development, poverty reduction, a boost of the national economy and private enterprises, especially to the host communities.
However, in spite of these numerous benefits, the rate of adherent to global standards of corporate social responsibility is very low due to greed, short centredness and the twin evil of bribery and corruption.
No developing country such as Nigeria multinationals still engages in tax aversion, grass clearing, deforestation among other compensation of the adverse effects of the activities on the environment, economy and the lives of the host communities.
Delta State is not an exception as it is found among the oil multinational telecommunication giants, financial institutions among others.
It is common to see telecommunication mast sited in densely populated areas and the casual and sick approach, managing offices given to the owners as rent with repose to the various radiation and exposure which residents of the suffer, recently, there was a huge oil spill on the River Ethiope in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state, a river that serves as the only source of food for livelihood, drinkable water, transportation and commercial activities.
This rendered fish farmers in the area jobless and aquatic live was totally destroyed while crops were not left out.
Indigenes of the various communities in the area now move long distance in search of clean water to buy for drinking, washing and cooking.
This situation has crippled the economic live of the people and pose severe threats to their health.
This is not the first time such water pollution has occurred in the state, relief materials and compensation is usually not paid by the company on whose account the problem may roll.
How long will host communities suffer in the hands of companies operating in their areas?
Also some corporate organisations neglect minor services such as: filling of pot holes, clearing of drains around their surroundings as well as giving donations, scholarships, free medical treatment and the
likes to members of their host communities.
Some of these corporate organisations even evade tax, they fold their hands and wait for government to provide them with peace and security as well as infrastructural facilities to improve their private businesses without playing their own roles. These do not augur well for development.
Corporate organisations operating in the state are therefore called upon to wake up to their responsibilities, they should stop paying lip services and redefined corporate responsibility with human fate to enable sustainable development to strive in host communities.
This is a clarion call!