The importance of sustainable develop-ment otherwise called Corporate Social Responsi-bility to companies cannot be overemphasised as it is the key to the survival and continued profitability of companies.
According to a 2013 report, companies are expected to be an active participant in solving the most pressing social and environmental issues. Corporations that disregard this consumer-demanded role risk more than their reputation many global citizens say they would boycott if they learned of irresponsible behavior. Companies are increasingly demonstrating that sustainability reporting provides financial value and drives innovation, adds global professional services company, KPMG.
As a confirmation to this, Chief Responsibility Officer, CSR Nigeria Ken Egbas said recently at a symposium organised by Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Lagos chapter in Lagos that brand handlers should begin to think and strategise towards CSR that are sustainable, ?If truly they want customer to loyal to their brands and embrace their products in the markets, brand owner should tie their CSR activities around sustainable initiatives like education, health and so on, so that the impacts of the CSR last longer than expected,? he advised.
Key into this is MTN Nigeria through its foundation, in fulfilling the promise of improving the quality of lives in Nigeria communities, MTN Foundation, ?What Can We Do Together.? The initiative has impacted over 10 million Nigerians in 400 communities and 347 local government areas across Nigeria. In these 347 local government areas, project delivered and installed by MTNF include 40 transformers, 40 boreholes and 14,200 school furniture. In addition, the foundation has donated 66 orphanage homes as well as supply of medical equipment to 80 primary healthcare centres.
At Ijaiye Community High School, an MTN?s subscriber and a soft ware engineer who is the project nominator living at Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, Lagos State, Mr Popoola Suleiman said he could not expect that what he took like play could turn to something that will affect and impact positively the education of over 500 students of Ijaiye community high school and by extension makes him hero in the community.
According to Popoola, ?the principal of the school thought I was a staff of MTN when we first met before I told him that I am just a nominator that I live in this community and I saw that the school needed modern furniture and I nominated the school for it. The Principal was amazed and introduced me to the teachers and students and also promised that I would attend the next PTA meeting so that I could be introduced to the parents and the other stakeholders in the school for what I have done, The peak of it all was that I now become the school computer technician, they call me whenever their system developed fault for repair or change of parts and they pay for my service without delay.?
The vice principal of the school who spoke on behalf of principal and students, Mr. Salami Jimoh commended the MTN for this project, ?the school will forever grateful to MTN for this gestures, the time of supply of the school furniture was very appropriate, it was the time government just finished one school building for us and the furniture just fit into the new building, we also thanked the nominator for single out our school in the community for this gigantic project,? he commended.
Speaking on the initiative, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, said that all projects were selected from a pool of thousands of nominations by members of the public in Phases 1 and 2, after rigorous screening and verification exercises.
?At the end, 200 communities were chosen to benefit in Phase 1, another 200 communities in Phase 2 and announcements were made in the print, electronic and digital media platforms. We are pleased to report that all the 200 projects in Phase 1 have been successfully implemented, while all the 200 projects in Phase 2 are at various stages of delivery and installation,? Ms. Ugboma said.
Chairman MTNF board of directors, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi during his remarks at the MTNF ?what can we do together? nominators celebration party in Lagos recently confirmed that 1.1Billion naira has been spent on the initiative since inception in 2015 and the foundation has invested over N18billion since when it was established 12 years ago.