The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, rolled out plans for the development of legislative and strategic policies for the promotion and implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) across the country.
Chairman, House Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, Hon. Lilian Orogbu, who disclosed this in Abuja during the inaugural meeting of the Standing Committee, underlined the need to streamline CSR reporting mechanisms, ensuring transparency and accountability in all efforts undertaken by Corporate Institutions.
According to the operational agenda developed by the Committee, the lawmakers are expected to engage institutions, agencies and departments of government as well as private sector entities for the enforcement of safety, business conduct of companies and other related matters in Nigeria.
According to the work plan, the overall objective of the Committee hinged on developing strategies for the promotion and implementation of responsible corporate conduct that will enhance the expected effectiveness of corporate social responsibility initiatives across Nigeria.
Hon. Orogbu, who highlighted the importance of CSR on the host communities where businesses are carried out across the country, pledged the Committee’s readiness towards building a more inclusive and sustainable society, by fostering positive legislative change and driving societal progress through oversight and laws that suit our current realities.
While noting that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept, she averred that the initiative has been an “integral part of many organizations’ host community development strategies for years.
“However, Mr. Speaker, in his wisdom with the hindsight of deficit in compliance and indolent disposition by companies in Nigeria taking cognizance of the continuous multiplier effects on the rural development of the host communities, Mr. Speaker and House leadership created the CSR committee with the mandate, as outlined in the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives 10th Assembly.
“In light of this, the House Committee on CSR aims to promote and encourage a culture of responsible business practices throughout our nation. We believe that every company, regardless of its size or sector, has a role to play in shaping a sustainable future.
“As a Committee, our primary focus will be to create a legislative enabling environment that empowers businesses to embrace CSR as a natural extension of their core operations through interface and oversight.
“To achieve this, we will constantly engage all relevant stakeholders in an extensive dialogue with companies, non-governmental organizations, and expert stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities on the ground.
“Through these discussions, we will identify best practices and develop guidelines tailored to the unique needs of our diverse business landscape. Furthermore, we will work towards streamlining CSR reporting mechanisms, ensuring transparency and accountability in all efforts undertaken by organizations.
“To the Corporate business and Public institutions, it’s high time to reposition the Federal Government’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy to be in tune with best global practices.
“In this regard the Committee will seek partnerships with all the relevant stakeholders, International Legislative interface on improved CSR, collaboration with CSOs/NGOs at home and abroad, and relevant Government agencies in the fair discharge of its duties for the entire citizenry. It’s a new dawn in the Corporate Social Responsibility sector in Nigeria.
“To achieve these goals, I am pleased to present our Committee’s comprehensive work plan for the tenure ahead. This plan is designed to guide our efforts, focusing on key areas that will enable us to fulfill our mandate effectively.
“Finally, I urge all members of the business community to embrace this call for action. CSR is not a burden, but a transformative opportunity to make a positive difference. By joining hands and working together, we can create a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous society for all.”
Hon. Orogbu maintained that “CSR is not an end in itself, but a means to achieving a greater purpose. It is not about corporate philanthropy or public relations; it is about embedding responsible practices in the very fabric of our business tomorrow. Together, let’s lay today and build a stronger foundation for better. Together, let us embrace the spirit of CSR and create a legacy of positive impact that extends far beyond our timing.”
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