Community Perception and Oil Companies Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in the Niger Delta
Poverty and conflicts are endemic in the Niger Delta even as oil companies operating in the region intensify their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in community development. Yet, there is hardly any assessment of the transnational companies’ CSR initiative privileging evidence from host communities. This paper assesses rather selectively the oil companies CSR as an anti-conflict strategy for development mainly from the viewpoint of Niger Delta residents. The author assesses how commitment in social investment seems to conflict with managing negative impact of oil production on host communities and their livelihoods. Using qualitative research methodology and perception survey it attempts to delimit the “blurred” boundaries of oil companies’ social investments that are philanthropic gestures rather than obligatory ones. The paper suggests that CSR is only coincidental to community development. It thus suggests a transition from the voluntary mechanism of CSR if obligatory framework that will separate social investment from operational costs could be installed.
Key words: Niger Delta; Oil companies; CSR; Environment; Conflict
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