8 Nigerian banks spent a total of N1.869 billion in 2012 on various community-related projects under corporate social responsibility to identify with the society in which they operate. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept which is deepening among organisations and societies is an organisation’s activity to make sustainable impact in society, creating shared values which have the capacity to create positive effect on business.
The figure represents about 70% of the total CSR expenditure of N3.4 billion by the banking industry in 2011 with analysts predicting that the figure would double in the next two years due to increased understanding of the concept of CSR.
Among the eight banks studied, Zenith Bank topped the list with N587 million, GTB spent N364.8 million while FCMB and Diamond Bank recorded N227.2 million and N214.4million, respectively. Access Bank recorded N173.2million, Stanbic IBTC spent N154.4million, Union Bank and Fidelity Bank spent N87.2 and N61.3 million, respectively. The eight banks had in 2011 spent N1.7 billion.
Last year, the oil and gas sector spent N9.5b on CSR, followed by telecoms with N6.4 billion. The banking industry came in third position.
Though large percentage of the expenditure by the banks fall into donations and philanthropy, analysts of the figures said the banking industry has done well in CSR activities in the recent times as the invested amount in CSR has tripled in the last five years. Ken Egbas, the CEO of TruContact, organisers of CSR award in Nigeria, said philanthropy could be excused as entry model to CSR.
A research said many Nigerian companies perceive and practice of CSR as corporate philanthropy aimed at addressing socio-economic development challenges because CSR is still at an early stage in Nigeria.
“Organizations, including banks are increasingly beginning to understand the importance of ensuring and creating a sustainable future and creating value in the society which is expected to have a positive effect for the organization”, Egbas said.