REPORT OF INVESTGATION INTO AVALANCHE OF COMPLAINTS OF NON ADHERRENCE TO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY BY LARGE MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE SOUTH SOUTH GEOPOLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA.
By Marshal Israel.
Federal Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Rivers/ Bayelsa States. firstname.lastname@example.org, +234 803 640 5404, +234 808 190 5271
The South South geopolitical zone is made up of the following six States; Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, Cross River, Delta and Rivers. Of great importance is the fact that that the region is rich in natural resources and produces the oil wealth.
However, the region has perennially suffered from environmental neglect, crumbling infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty and endemic conflicts amongst its communities and against Oil
Companies operating in the region. Most of these conflicts are either politically instigated or arose out of struggle for who controls pecks in form of contracts and handouts from such operations of multinational oil companies drilling oil in the
area. Because the pecks are meager and come not always inform of projects that can benefit all members of host communities, there is always scramble amongst citizens, communities and various other interests. It is such scramble that has always led to restiveness in such communities where the companies operate. Also restiveness arises because the activities of these companies have also led to environmental degradation and pollution. While their waters are no longer fit for drinking, aquatic live destroyed, the means of livelihood of indigenes of the area who are predominantly fishermen are being constantly eroded and there is a general feeling that the companies aren’t doing enough to alleviate the sufferings and or, give back to their host communities through the instrumentality of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The call and agitation for these companies to be socially responsible didn’t just start today. It started with the birth of oil in Oloibiri in Bayelsa State in 1956 but got to its crescendo with the opposition by a group of nine activists from Ogoni led by Ken
Saro-Wiwa who opposed the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation that led to their massacre and Saro- Wiwa’s hanging in 1995. Since then, the South South nay, Niger Delta has known no peace. It has been agitations upon agitations for the oil companies and multinational companies in the zone to
live to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the people hence, the avalanche of complaints for which the Commission is investigating.
This report aims therefore to investigate the avalanche of complaints of non adherence to corporate social responsibility (CSR) of Multinational Companies (MNCs) and its subsidiaries operating in the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The purpose of the report is to investigate and determine also the degree to which MNCs provides CSR to the host communities.
Among the contractors, some host community members and the MNCs, the major concern is that corruption in the zone is endemic in the execution of the projects.
The report suggests constructive corporate social responsibility based on these outcomes, motivated by the needs of the people.
In the South-South, corporate social responsibility has become a matter of contention. The persistence of the host community’s demand for more of it is a sign that the region’s people are not satisfied. In the communities where they work, major MNCs such as Shell, Agip, Mobil, Julius Berger, etc. operating in the region are expected to carry out corporate social responsibility. Accordingly, it is required that these CSRs should be given according to international standards for their host. These
MNCs are businesses that work across boundaries in order to achieve their financial benefits. Outside the host/parent country, they establish branches in more than one country. MNCs stunt local investment growth, according to Mihangwa (2011:1).
When international multinationals have taken over opportunities, and once new market habits have been developed in cooperation with the modern west, then our nations are hampered by independent national economic growth. This is because
many foreign-controlled companies are like enclaves that swallow local capital and do not integrate with the industrial and economic complex of the countries in which they are based. They operate to meet the requirements of the parent state and not of
the local economy and are also linked technologically to larger corporations (Mihangwa, 2011:3).
The implications of MNCs operating in third-world countries are many as analyses by Ahiakpor (1992:3). They include: (a) the interests of these corporations are not related to the country they operate and are not able to help these nations solve their
economic problems. (b) They are engaged in monopoly capitalism where, among others, they operate. Subsequently, many governments have been sensitive to the negative images of MNCs, particularly in third world countries, and have adopted
hostile policies towards them. This perception and attitude of MNCs has led to crises in most oil-bearing communities. There are other scholars who suggest that MNCs are agents of technology, innovations and development. Chukwuemeka, Anazodo and Nzewi (2011:103) argue that those who view multinationals as growth engines maintain (a) that multinationals contribute resources that are normally inaccessible or insufficiently accessible, namely: finance, technology, management and marketing skills; and (b) that multinationals build employment and alleviate their host states’ balance of payment deficits through impotence.
Several complaints have been raised in especially in the various state offices of the Public Complaints Commission in the South South geopolitical zone and in indeed Nigeria concerning the provision of CSR by MNCs, especially in the South-South Geopolitical Zone. Such reports have shown that the consistency and degree to which these amenities are offered is not enough to meet the needs of the host communities. So, what could be the role of MNCs in the provision of CSR in the South-South region?
The starting point of this analysis is to decide whether MNCs have CSR as previous studies have been on MNCs and their CSR as set out above. This strategy is intended to fill the void between different multinationals and their CSR programs.
Most reports on corporate social responsibility have been carried out, focusing on global oil and gas firms and the provision of CSR to host communities and non-oil production businesses. Therefore, the issue of the study is the ongoing demand for
CSR by the host Communities on the Multinational Corporations in South South states that could lead to violence if not addressed. Therefore, this report is centered on Corporate Social Responsibility of MNCs, a non-oil producing company in South-South states. The purpose of the study is to determine the degree to which these host communities’ benefit from these multinationals’ CSR and how it serves their needs, considering the continued demand for CSR by the host communities.
1. To ascertain the genuineness of such complaints of non performance of corporate social responsibility functions by oil Companies operating in the Niger Delta (South South Geopolitical region of Nigeria).
2. To identify the aggregate needs of host communities from these companies and what obligation the companies have in attending to these needs and demonstrate the value of their investment in the region by undertaking increased community development initiatives.
3. To identify reasons why the multinational companies don’t adhere to corporate social responsibility and suggest way of improving the relationship between communities and these oil companies.
4. Make suggestions on how to convince the companies to perform its corporate social responsibility to its host communities that will provide direct social benefits such as employment, social infrastructure,, schools and improved health care delivery, that will be directly felt by those who reside in the South South geopolitical Zone.
A. Town Hall Meeting and On the Spot Investigations: The report used data collected by staff of the Public Complaints Commission during investigation of various complaints on related issues lodged before it by host communities of multinational companies operating in the South South geopolitical zone.
There were series of on the Spot investigations and Town Hall meetings organized to resolve most of these complaints.
B. The research also used descriptive research design and survey methods and relied primarily on secondary data from the public complaint commission (PCC), academic works such as textbooks, journals, newspapers, websites on the internet and eminent scholars’ views.
In evaluating the results, the report used an analytical approach.
1. What is the degree to which the host communities’ benefit from both corporations’ corporate social responsibility?
2. To what degree is CSR supplied to fulfill the host community’s needs?
3. What accounts for the disparity in the different MNC’s implementation of
In recent times, corporate social responsibility (CSR) h