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Impacting host communities through CSR interventions

By Gloria Nwafor
05 March 2021   |   2:55 am
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly relevant as a developmental tool with a phenomenal increase in the number of business organisations’ interventions

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly relevant as a developmental tool with a phenomenal increase in the number of business organisations’ interventions in their host communities in recent times.
Described in a broad term as a company’s efforts to improve quality lives, CSR is undeniably not only important to companies, nonprofits and employees but also to the communities.

The crux of CSR objectives is hinged on improving the overall well-being of targeted stakeholders and members of host communities through the provision of sustainable projects like access to healthcare, improved economic activities and employment generation among others.
CSR involves a range of activities such as, working in partnership with local communities, socially responsible investments (SRI), developing relationships with employees and customers, as well as environmental protection and sustainability.

Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Sagamu, Assistant Corps Commander Iyanda Taofiq (4th left), during the presentation of plaque to management of International Breweries Plc. as an outstanding stakeholder, in recognition of its dedication and commitment to ensuring safety on highways.

Accordingly, its neglect by business organisations could result in conflicts, which may hinder the achievement of stated objectives of the business firm. Most organisations from time immemorial have carried out different CSR activities in their various host communities with huge amounts earmarked for such remarkable projects.
One of such organisations is the International Breweries Plc., which through its CSR projects, won multiple awards last year and has been recognised on many fronts for its CSR interventions across Nigeria. Part of the firm’s recognition was clinching the 2020 Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Responsibility (SERAS) Infrastructure Development Award, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Recognition and Advertising Association of Nigeria Awards for Excellence (ADVAN) Community Heroes Award.
The multiple awards during the period positioned the firm as an outstanding stakeholder, considering the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected not just Nigeria but countries all over the world.
For the SERAS CSR Awards, an annual business award organised to recognise and reward corporate social responsibility and sustainability on the African continent, the firm clinched the award for Best Company in Infrastructure Development in recognition of its commitment to development through the provision of infrastructural facilities for its host communities.
During the year under review, International Breweries successfully built, furnished, and equipped a primary health care centre in Oginigba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in a swift response to the medical needs of the community, and as a demonstration of its commitment to supporting government and communities in healthcare and infrastructure delivery.
With up to 36,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, the N44 million projects, the firm stated, was done with the support of the Rivers State government. It commenced in 2019 with the foundation laying and was completed and commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.
The SERAS awards were also in recognition of other infrastructural projects such as the refurbishing and equipping of the Science laboratory at Esa-Odo High School which caters to over 1,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries among other achievements in different parts of the state.
Commenting on the award, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries Plc, Temitope Oguntokun, who received the award on behalf of the company alongside the firm’s Company Secretary and General Counsel, Muyiwa Ayojimi, expressed gratitude for the recognition, stressing that they remain committed to seeing that they continue to impact their host communities positively. 
Among other awards, achieving the debut ADVAN Community Heroes Award at the 2020 Advertising Association of Nigeria Awards for Excellence (ADVAN) Awards followed the firm’s role in the distribution of COVID-19 relief palliatives such as medical consumables, hand sanitizers, non-alcoholic beverages and food across the country.
The firm catered to over 800,000 beneficiaries across Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Rivers states respectively.
Recognised also as an “Outstanding Stakeholder”, by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Sagamu Unit Command was in recognition of its dedication and commitment to ensuring safety on the highways. At the award presentation in Sagamu, Unit Commander, Sagamu, Iyanda Akande, commended International Breweries for its constant support especially during the “2020 Ember month sensitisation campaign’’.
He said: “IBPLC and FRSC have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship since the establishment of Gateway plant. The company has demonstrated unwavering commitment in promoting responsible drinking among Nigerians with special emphasis on road users through the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign.’’ During the period last year, and in furtherance of its commitment to responsible drinking, the company embarked on a series of smart drinking initiatives.
Themed, “Let’s Champion Smart Drinking Together at a Distance,” they said much more is lined up for this year to encourage safe culture and contribute positively to nation-building and development.