Don urges organizations to adopt Nigerian concept of CSR for host communities’ development

(From L-R) Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of University of Nigeria Enugu Campus(UNEC), Prof Dan Nwachukwu, 199th inaugural lecturer of the university, Prof. Joseph Uduji and wife during the lecture recently.

A professor of marketing and public relations in the University of Nigeria Nsukka(UNN), Prof. Joseph Uduji, has tasked firms and corporate organizations to adopt the Nigerian concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) if they want peace and development in their host communities.

Uduji, who gave the counsel while presenting the 199th inaugural lecture of the university on the topic: “Corporate Social Responsibility in a marketing context: A responsible business CRS pyramid for Nigeria”, called on corporate organisations and religious bodies to live up to expectations in performing their social responsibilities in their host communities.

While noting that the Nigerian concept of corporate social responsibility is remarkably different from what Western version, Uduji lamented that many firms, especially the multinationals, had always adopted the Western concept of CSR in dealing with their host communities.

This, he said, had made it impossible for most of the host communities to understand that the companies were helpful to their course.

According to him, the Nigerian concept of CSR should be aimed towards addressing the realities of socio-economic challenges of the nation and the host community in particular. These, he noted should include poverty alleviation, healthcare provision, infrastructural development, among others.

Prof Uduji further noted that in developed nations, poverty alleviation, healthcare provision, among others were not considered as CSR, but government’s responsibility and acts of charity.

“But, these are truly what such host communities need. So, in Corporate Social Responsibility, the needs of the people must be looked into. The context or argument is that Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in Nigeria should be guided by the social cultural influences”, he said.

Prof. Uduji therefore proposed a Corporate Social Responsibility pyramid for Nigeria that will challenge the Western version.

He listed the pyramid to include: Economic Responsibility, Philanthropic Responsibility, Legal Responsibility and Ethical Responsibility.

He explained that after providing Economic Responsibility, which has to do with investment, job creation, and payment of taxes, companies should go to philanthropic responsibility, whereby they set aside funds for social responsibility, and then go to legal and ethical responsibilities.

While stating that his argument was not findings but speculative, the scholar therefore, invited other scholars to challenge his

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and chairman of the event, Professor Charles Igwe, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, UNEC, Prof Dan Nwachukwu, commended Professor Uduji for his elucidating lecture and described as a prolific writer, a great scholar, a great academic, a pastor, who supervised twenty PhD candidates within a short time.

”Today, through this lecture, Prof Uduji has been able to prove the need for every corporate body to be alive to their corporate social responsibilities and I want to thank him. He has justified the fact that he was promoted to the rank of a professor in this great university.You will agree with me that his lecture was worth it.”, the Vice Chancellor said. 

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