Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the idea that an organisation ought to play a positive role in the community and consider the environmental and social impact of business decisions.
It is closely linked to sustainability, creating economic, social, and environmental value. All these focus on non-financial factors that companies, large and small, consider when making business decisions.
In recent years, many forward-thinking companies including indigenous oil and gas company, Green Energy International Limited (GEIL) have pivoted from a mere CSR and a ‘nice to have’ mindset to social purpose as far as community development is concerned.
Safe to say that did the inhabitants of Ikuru town know about what was coming when crude oil was discovered in the small community in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, home to less than 6 thousand inhabitants.
Naturally, the discovery of crude oil is expected to bring development to any given community, but no one in Ikuru town would have imagined such magnitude of development in so little time to come from GEIL, operators of the Otakipo marginal field.
In the last 7 years, Ikuru community has witnessed a high-level infrastructural and human capital development. Some of the intervention undertaken by GEIL includes setting up a primary education infrastructure, with the construction of 9 model primary school blocks and renovation of many others, automatic contracts and employment to qualified members of the community to support its operations, youth development around training programs such as pipeline fitting and welding, IT skills, training for auxiliary teachers among others.
Others include Public Health Intervention programs including the setting up medical missions across Ugama Ekede, Ayama Ekede, Asuk Ama and Asuk Oyet, an outreach that provided lifesaving medical intervention such as free medical consultations, laboratory tests, free medication, deworming of children, eye checks, distribution of prescribed eyeglasses and insecticide-treated mosquito nets which saved multiple lives within the communities.
On security, Green Energy International Limited built a residential quarters and a police station in Ayama Ekede and Ugama Ekede areas of Adoni LGA, a gesture that has given members of the community a sense of safety and enhances deterrence against vices. Recently, the company donated a mini barracks to the Nigerian navy, as part of its CSR drive and to strengthen to security in the oil producing region.
In November 2021, UNICEF declared Nigeria the open defecation capital of the world, in a bid to address this, the company quickly went head to construct several sanitary facilities in an ongoing effort to improve sanitary conditions within the host community and to help eliminate open defecation completely.
While giving his take on some if these initiatives, the Chairman, GEIL, Prof. Anthony Adegbuluge hinted that there’s a lot more to come from the company. He noted that “Part of our goal as an organisation is to ensure that we keep our word of commitment to our host community. We have done that since inception and there’s so much more to come in terms of development.”
It is evident that GEIL CSR programs indeed touch every aspect of human life, ensuring that no member of Ikuru town is left out of its resolve to prioritize meaningful projects.