By ANDREW OJIEZEL
AS part of their efforts to encourage growth and development of business and instill corporate social responsibility among them in the country, Etisalat Nigeria, Union Bank and Multichoice Nigeria sponsored Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), in annual retreat.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s conference, “Challenges and Prospects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in Nigeria- the Roles of Organisations, Government and the Media”, both the participants and the guest speakers expressed their observation on how many companies have been abusing the CSR, using it as an avenue to promote their business or services.
“In recent years, many companies and individuals were known to use the word philanthropists but they soon changed that to corporate social responsibility which is now being changed to corporate sustainability.
The conference which featured seasoned industry practitioners stated that “But what we observed in the CSR, some companies has been hiding under that CSR to make innocent people believe they were actually enjoying such social responsibility from the companies.
Or how could a company which made people to believe it was offering CSR would donate some equipment while the users of such equipment are made to pay indirectly through the back door through telling them to pay into the certain bank account, for something that should have been free, if truly it was on CSR, this is one of the ways they mislead people in the past, but with the new development, the corporate sustainability will make companies more committed.”
In his welcome address, the chairman of BJAN, Mr. Goddie Ofose, noted that the third BJAN conference was designed among other things to provide platform for discussion on serious issues, engender opportunities for bonding between brand journalists and the private sector as well as other critical stakeholders.
‘The conference will also provide refreshers for brand writers on critical and emerging issues in global sustainability as well as affording brand writers the opportunity of sharing ideas with stakeholders in the industry.”
Ofose however acknowledged that the 2015 BJAN conference has received massive boost from corporate organisations like Access Bank, GTBank, Nestle, Nigerian Breweries, Chi Limited, Lafarge, Mr Biggs, Coca-cola, APCON and others.