Corporate Social Responsibilty In Nigeria: Legal Frame Work And Nature Of Obligation Owed By Companies To Undertake
Volume 2 - Issue 12, December 2018 Edition
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Omengala Kingsley Adeyi
corporate, directors, duties, social responsibility, obligation.
The company is one of the most ingenious inventions of humanity. The company is an all- important vehicle for allocating and efficiently employing capital in our societies, providing goods, services, jobs- and revenue. In short, the company is a vehicle for economic efficiency. However, the activities of companies, no doubt, can have enormously detrimental effects on the environment. Oil spills are some of the most visible examples, but industries as varied as chemical manufacturing, mining, agriculture and fishing can do permanent damage to the local ecosystem of their host environment. Many corporations profit from this devastating deterioration of the global environment. Corporate social responsibility is one means by which corporate bodies integrate social, environmental, and economic concerns into their values and operations in a transparent and accountable manner with a view to adding socio- economic and cultural value to the lives of individual members of, and or the entire community within which they operate. The interventions of these corporate bodies in the form of corporate social responsibility is certainly one way by which the socio-economic well being of the benefitting communities or individuals can be enhanced and the burden on government, with respect to provision of social infrastructures and environmental safety may be lessened. In Nigeria not many corporate bodies, outside some Non Governmental Organizations and some multi-national companies, undertake these corporate social responsibility activities. This attitude of companies not taking seriously the issue of CSR is not unconnected with the popular view that CSR is nothing more than voluntary corporate engagement in philanthropy or charity. This paper seeks to examine the legal framework for corporate social responsibility in Nigeria. The extent, if any, to which corporate bodies operating in Nigeria are obliged to undertake these corporate social responsibility activities. The paper will argue that there exist sufficient statutory provisions that may be explored to make it imperative for corporate bodies operating within the Nigeria economic climate to undertake some form of corporate social responsibility activity notwithstanding the seeming absence of any specific provision of any enactment stipulating or imposing obligation on corporate bodies to undertake or embark on corporate social responsibility activities.