30 CEOs to spend N56b on CSR

CEO's Nigeria

Thirty Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Nigerian companies have pledged their commitment to boost government’s effort in expanding the economy and social welfare of the citizenry.

The CEOs made the pledge at a dinner hosted by Shell Petroleum Development Company on Saturday in Lagos.

Their commitments when operational will inject about N56.82 billion (350 million dollars) fresh development funds into the economy.

The CEOs, who identified themselves as “Transformer in Lagos”, said their aim remained a coordinated Organised Private Sector (OPS) investment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

They also identified their areas of concerns as skills-based education, energy, health and stimulation of sustainable creativity.

The convener, Mutiu Sunmonu said their aim is to mobilize CEOs to create a new platform for urgent and practical intervention of Corporate Nigeria in the socio-economic transformation of the nation.
Sunmonu, Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said the platform would harmonise the CSR actions to meet the demands of Nigerians toward sustainable development and self-reliance.

“Over the years, I have stopped talking about Shell’s commitment of about 250 million dollars every year in CSR.

“For me, and I know most of you feel the same way, it seems people are not listening or that we are not communicating.

“So, the urge for us to come together and develop new approach for intervention,” said Sunmonu who is also the Country Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria,.

“It is how we can actually get synergy on some of the things we do to promote the agenda of the Council of Sustainable Business Development in Nigeria.

“I want it to be the beginning of a foundation of a transformation. Transformation that is going to be led by business, transformation that all of us will hand over to generations yet unborn.”

Sunmonu said the ideal of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) became imperative because it showed that business would only thrive in an environment that was prepared for the challenges of globalisation.

Wolfgang Goetsch, Managing Director, Julius Berger Plc, commended the convener for the initiative. He said the nation more than ever before needed urgent Corporate Nigeria intervention.

Goetsch also said that Julius Berger bought into the initiative because it would engender a holistic approach to national-driven needs intervention in skills-based education, health and general infrastructure.
Mrs Owanari Duke, wife of the former Governor of Cross River and Country Director, Empretec Nigeria Foundation; Chief Keith Richards, Chairman, Promasidor Nigeria Ltd
and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Mrs Bola Adesola agreed with Sunmonu and Goetsch.

“We at Promasidor will not only contribute but will devote our time and energy in actualising the goals of the intervention. We will only opt out when the idea becomes a talk shop, driven by workshops, seminars and bureaucracy,” Richards said.

The dinner which was held at the Federal Palace Hotel was attended by the CEOs of Oando Gas and Power, SEPLAT Petroleum, UBA Group, ETISALAT, MTN Nigeria, Coca Cola Nigeria and Gunniess Plc.

Others are Flour Mills Nigeria, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, First Bank of Nigeria, Accenture Nigeria, Interswitch Ltd, Intel Nigeria, Heirs Holding, BusinessDay and Standard Chartered Bank.