Corporate Social Responsibility by Total Oil Company in Delta State

Corporate Social Responsibility by Total Oil Company in Delta State

Corporate Social Responsibility by Total Oil Company in Delta State

Delta State is one of the states in the Niger Delta region where most oil companies carry out their exploration businesses. The negative impact of their activities on the host community is undeniable. Notwithstanding that the impact cannot be stopped, however these oil companies can ameliorate the dire consequences on host communities by engaging in CSR projects in the area.  We will consider some oil companies like Total and their CSR projects in Delta State.

In the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, oil companies are expected to offer social services and welfare programmes as part of their CSR initiatives as they pursue their normal activities. These expectations are not far-fetched as oil companies are now committed to funding community development programmes by way of providing education, scholarship, and road construction.[1]

The community development initiative in the Niger Delta is widely criticized by the host communities due to the fact that adequate attention is not directed at tackling the problems that the multinational enterprises accepted to resolve.[2] Therefore, CSR does not seem to be a usable tool to alleviate poverty and other developmental goals as originally envisaged.

The general expectations of the people of the Niger Delta region is seeking employment for the youths, reduction in environmental damage to their farmlands (livelihoods), and economic and social development of the entire region.

To the host communities, these expectations have not been met which has resulted in a conflicting relationship with the MNCs. In the Niger Delta region, the root cause of hostility between the oil companies and host communities is also linked to the inherent discontent with the governance system of Nigeria. The government is perceived to support the MNCs operation at the expense of the host communities.

In addition, the chosen approach to remedy the problems, which has been to provide some basic infrastructural facilities for the communities does not seem to tackle the main issues confronting the region. Therefore, what is being witnessed is the neglect of the role of CSR in improving the living standards of the people and sustaining the livelihoods of the communities. It seems therefore that the CSR initiatives are in the interest of the MNCs who are indirectly sourcing for a conducive environment to maximize their earnings and to be seen as being socially responsible.[3]

CSR is needed to address host communities perceived needs and poverty reduction. CSR has brought about amnesty to the Niger Delta region, oil companies have allocated fund to the amnesty programme as part of CSR. Facts have shown that oil companies and government have settled the leaders of the ex-militants to keep them off from destroying oil facilities.[4]

The principle of CSR theory assumes that business has a duty in the host community beside its obligation to the shareholders of the corporation. The CSR of oil companies is established against the ideology of profit first of multinational oil business.[5] Though, CSR is a means of paying back of the community, the use of philanthropy has become the basis of implementing community development in oil communities.

Total Oil Company CSR Initiatives in Nigeria

This is the summary of CSR initiatives of Total Nigeria to the social-economic development of the Delta State. Total has been in partnership since 1962 in the development of oil and gas in Nigeria, carrying out both upstream and downstream activities. Moreover, the company has been serving the Nigeria upstream hydrocarbons industry for half a century in partnership with the Nigeria Government and in different equity associations with other private companies.[6]

Total has five main CSR initiatives which consist of the young dealers’ scheme, creation of Truck Driver Training and Inspection Centre (TDTSIC), Skill Acquisition Programme (SAP), Malaria initiatives and sponsorship of two family houses at SOS children village. The objectives are to create employment in the host communities and engage the communities productively.

The young dealers’ scheme created as a platform for developing capacity for young Nigerian who proves to be honest, loyal and diligent in the discharge of their duties. Similarly, the company supported and empowered them to grow through the ranks from being Total Service Station attendants to becoming dealers managing their own assigned stations.

Read also: Corporate Social Responsibility amongst Oil Companies in Delta State

The scheme has become a symbol of hope to many and represents the bedrock of the company success in Nigeria downstream industry and since the scheme becomes operational, it has produced good number of young dealers.[7]

The company provides malaria control initiative which is in line with the Group directives and part of its CSR to the host communities. The objective is to create awareness among the local communities, employees and their families, as well as stakeholders on malaria control/prevention.[8]

Total is also committed to the promotion of preventive measures against HIV/AIDS including information and awareness campaigns for employees, their families and immediate communities. Also, the company embarked on donations and sponsorship initiative to promote integration of subsidiary’s activities into local, cultural, and social environment and the programme is tailored to improve social compatibility and further enhance company-community relationship.[9]

The company introduced transportation safety, through its Truck Drivers Training School and Inspection Centre (TDTSIC) where truck drivers are trained. This was established in March 28, 2011. This was borne out of the need to change the nomadic method of drivers’ training to fully equipped facilities in the school that enhances the quality of knowledge for drivers. This subsequently impacted on the improvement of transportation safety and reduced truck accidents on Nigerian roads.[10]

Also, the company introduced Skill Acquisition Programme (SAP) meant to reduce unemployment among the youths in the host communities. In addition, the youths are trained on various skills of their choice like wielding and fabrication, computer operation, fish and crop farming, hairdressing, woodcraft and furniture making, fashion and designing, etc.

The improvement of lives in the region have made oil companies such as Total, ExxonMobil and Shell to invest millions of dollars in social projects for communities and this has a close competition with government commitment in the region.[11]

 

[1] J. G. Frynas, ‘The false developmental promise of corporate social responsibility: Evidence multinational oil companies.’ International Affairs, 81 (3), 2005, pp. 581-598. Available at  http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2005.00470.x accessed on 4th April, 2021

[2] ibid

[3]G. Eweje, ‘The role of MNEs in community development initiative in developing countries: Corporate social responsibility at work in Nigeria and Southern Africa.’ Business and Society, 45(2), 2006, pp. 93-129. Available at  http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0007650305285394  accessed on 4th April, 2021

[4] C. O. Oteh, & R. C. Eze, ‘Vandalization of oil pipeline in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and poverty: An overview.’ Studies of Sociology of Science, 3(2), 2012, pp. 13-21

[5] G. U. Ojo, ‘Community perception and oil companies’ corporate social responsibility initiative in the Niger Delta.’ Studies in Sociology of Science, 3(4), 2012, pp. 11-21

[6] Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria: Corporate Social Responsibility. Available at https://www.total.com.ng/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility accessed on 5th April, 2021

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] ibid

[11] Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria

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