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Expert harps on CSR as strategy for profitable business

Leke Adedipe

An oil and gas expert has recommended Corporate Social Responsibility as a strategy for building a profitable business for companies.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO), LEKOIL Nigeria Limited, Leke Adedipe, has said that businesses can derive a lot of benefits by initiating and executing developmental projects in their host communities.

Adedipe made this recommendation while speaking on the topic, “CSR as a Business Strategy:Social Initiatives as a Profitable Business Model” at the 2016 University of Liverpool Alumni Business and Career Fair in Lagos over the weekend. He stated that firms which give back to their host communities are more likely to enjoy a good and mutually beneficial relationship with them.

According to him, such relationships could also lead to reduced cost of operations for the firm as its assets and resources would be protected by the locals.

He said socially responsible corporate organisations stand a better chance of addressing and managing risks and opportunities associated with the nature of their business. This is because strategic CSR projects create a positive image for the company and enhance the creation of shared values for the business and its host communities. Mr. Adedipe said sustainable CSR projects could foster a peaceful business environment in which firms can innovate and grow.

On the rationale for CSR he said, “It is a good thing to do. Since business is an integral part of society, it has an obligation to society and community needs”. According to Adedipe, there is a need for organisations with foresight to start creating societal value by addressing critical social or environmental needs.

Adedipe said CSR is a critical part of LEKOIL’s business strategy. According to him, “LEKOIL has always been committed to improving the living standards of our host communities with our annual allocation to a dedicated trust fund. We have also contributed to the development of our host communities by committing to provide 5 megawatts of free electricity and using Associated Gas (AG) utilisation projects to minimise gas flaring”.

The LEKOIL COO noted that the company is motivated to execute projects that are sustainable and that many of the company’s host communities in Rivers State will be transformed in the next few years.