As a result of the exploration and exploitation of oil in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, insurgency is pervasive and poverty is painfully deep-rooted. This study aims at determining the role played by corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in stemming the tide of insurgency in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. CSR explains the behaviour of organizations outside the core profit motive as it concerns employees, customers and the host community. The Social License to Operate (SLO) theory provided the theoretical background for the study which involved six oil-producing communities in Abia, Imo and Delta States (two communities in each of the states). Simple random sampling procedure guided the choice of the six communities used for the study. The survey research method was employed in carrying out the study while testing was done using ordinary Regression Analysis. Curiously, findings indicate that insurgency in the Niger Delta cannot be stemmed through the present CSR activities in host communities; and that even though CSR projects executed by oil companies in the Niger Delta have positive impact on host communities, they were insignificant. It was recommended, among others, that oil-producing communities and the oil companies develop a common understanding of what effective CSR is. Also, the quantum of CSR projects should increase to make them more impactful on host communities.
Background to the Study
The Niger Delta is located in the South-South part of Nigeria. Since the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in 1958, the region has occupied a crucial place in the economy of Nigeria as it contributes over 80 percent of the nation’s revenue. However, the massive environmental damage found in the region is attributable to the exploration and exploitation of this very resource. The consequence of this is the loss of agricultural land and aquatic foods in the area. With this has come agitation by the local people for compensation and development of infrastructure. Both the Federal Government of Nigeria and the oil companies operating in the Niger Delta have been blamed for this. While the oil companies are blamed for destroying the environment and showing no care and respect for the owners of the land, the Federal government has equally been blamed for the dearth of infrastructure in the region. The government is further blamed for failure to implement national policies as well as other legal instruments and agreements meant to stem continuous environmental damage and near-total absence of life-supporting infrastructure in the region. At present, there are some corporate social responsibility activities put up by the multi-national oil companies in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria, in response to the agitations and insurgency in the area. This study therefore seeks to determine the extent the CSR activities have been able to stem the tide of insurgency in the area, and to recommend possible areas of improvement in this respect.
The problem of this study can be stated thus: To what extent can corporate social responsibility be used in stemming the tide of insurgency in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria?
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