Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in Nigeria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review



Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in Nigeria originated from the practices of Multinational companies (MNCs) operations in the extraction sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially in the oil sector. Their operations in communities resulted in CSR breaches such as oil spillages, gas flaring, militancy/community agitations and dumping of toxic waste materials in rivers. These activities destroyed the sources of income for the communities which are mainly farming and fishing, leading to widespread poverty and agitation from the communities. Cumulatively, these raised concerns about the role of businesses in the Nigerian society.
Apart from the activities of MNCs, the failure by successive Nigerian governments to fulfil their mandatory obligation of providing social amenities for communities has made MNCs to become quasi-government with community depending and targeting MNCs to solve their economic problems. Government from all levels, have failed to offer solutions (such as building infrastructures, roads, medical equipment and schools). This is largely due to corruption, weak institutional framework, lack of transparency and accountability among public officials and bad governance among other issues.
As a result, CSR initiatives in Nigeria have not been strategic, in a way which provides a thorough engagement of businesses in society and nation building, but have been culturally oriented, reflecting the religion, ethnicity, traditions and communal lifestyle of the people which involves sharing, togetherness and consensus. As such CSR initiatives in Nigeria have been mostly discretionary and philanthropic, characterised by donations, charities and community developments. Most corporate entities such as MNC and financial institutions are taking CSR initiatives seriously. Some have CSR departments and publish their environmental/CSR reports in addition to their annual reports. Their CSR initiatives involve mostly sponsorship in sports, beautification of roads, giving donations and project implementations. Some of these projects include the provision of borehole water, youth empowerment, schools and healthcare centres for the communities.
This chapter will explore the perception of CSR as well as the key CSR initiatives in Nigeria, in order to strengthen the understanding of the concept as well as to encourage responsible behavior by large and small businesses in the country. In doing this, it will analyze the institutional determinants of effective CSR in Nigeria. This is a much needed study in Africa’s biggest economy.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKey Initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Dimension of CSR in Corporate Entities
EditorsSamuel O. Idowu
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameKey Initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility
ISSN (Print)2196-7075
ISSN (Electronic)2196-7083