CSR In Nigeria: The Untold Role Of IOC’s In National Development

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller (1885-1983)

In Nigeria, and by extension Africa, infrastructural decadence has become the normas governments over the years have learnt and mastered the act of abandoning projects halfway only to be further abandoned by the subsequent governments.

This situation has continued to hinder the potential greatness of Nigeria, a country naturally endowed with all manner of untapped mineral resources save for crude oil which has become a mainstay for the national economy.Sadly though, crude oil receipts over the years, has not translated to infrastructural or economic development.

However, with the intervention by International Oil Companies (IOCs) through the model known as Corporate Social Responsibility CSR, relief has come the way of most Nigerians. An exemplary case studyis that of the American oil giant ExxonMobil.

In different areas spanning education, health, road infrastructures, rural community development, human capacity development, the company has relentlessly shown commitment to an unparalleled, world class CSR scheme.

In promoting its educational support programme in the country, the company has spent over N4 billion on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/ Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) Joint Venture (JV) undergraduate scholarship which it extended to Nigerian students from all parts of the country, while 50 per cent of this amount or N2 billion went to students from Akwa Ibom State, being the state hosting most of the company’s activities in Nigeria.

Similarly, over N57 million has been spent on the NNPC/MPN JV secondary school scholarships targeting indigent students from Akwa Ibom State over the last four years while over N1 billion was spent on the NNPC/Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (ExxonMobil subsidiary company) international postgraduate scholarship to Nigerian students in the last two decades.The company by its actions has demonstrated belief that an educated society is a developed society.

For a company that currently accounts for over 30% of Nigeria’s crude production, thereby becoming the highest crude oil producer and revenue contributor to the nation, ExxonMobil more than other IOC’s have shown commitment to Nigeria, generating well over N1 trillion annual revenue contribution to the federal government of Nigeria since 2010. ExxonMobil has also contributed more than N160 billion to the NDDC since 2001.

Social infrastructure Package:
In July 2013, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, MPN, announced plans to make multi-year social investments in Akwa Ibom State. These investments supplement the company’s regular annual community development projects which are in partnership with its joint venture partner NNPC.

The social investment package funds both short and long-term projects for communities in which MPN operates, as well as other parts of Akwa Ibom State. The total proposed contribution is N24.6 billion.Short-term projects include the Eket-Ibeno road reconstruction and community assistance projects in the four communities surrounding MPN’s operations in Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT), as well as nearby coastal communities.

Long-term projects include contributions for proposed projects such as enhancing Ibeno Beach, upgrading the University of Uyo engineering facility, and designing and constructing a trauma center at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.

Special Projects II:
Under its special projects II arrangement, the MPN is poised to spend about N6billion on 384 projects across 8 communities in Akwa Ibom State. It is a social investment across the neighboring communities, specifically Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo & Mbo. It is an act of goodwill done in good faith to appreciate the kind gestures of the communities towards MPN. This is addition to another N8 billion as counterpart funding for the dualization of Eket-Ibeno road.

ExxonMobil and its JV partner NNPC contributes N230million annually to the Akwa Ibom State Government as ground rent and taxes. The JV has contributed over US$210 million to community assistance projects in Akwa Ibom from 2002 – 2014. The company also recruits over 35 percent of its workforce from Akwa-Ibom.

If there are no hindrances and these oil companies are allowed to do as much through their CSR programs, the impact would be felt and the projects would last a lifetime. This is surely the way to go if we must use national infrastructural developmentas a catalyst to boost the economy especially in a country such as ours that does not plan long term, have no regard for basic statistics, and where successive governments have done nothing but failed the people woefully over the past years. A proper and well articulated CSR program as orchestrated by ExxonMobil and other international oil companies across the country can surely fill that vacuum created by years of government’s neglect.

Mr. Adeoye, an industry analyst and Host of the Energie Platform show writes from Houston Texas, USA.

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