The role of CSR
So far, corporate social responsibility has not played an important role in Nigeria, and has not been the subject of a wider public discussion. There are expectations that companies will offer certain benefits to their employees and the communities where their facilities are located, but they are often non-specific or focus only on a specific enterprise. In addition to being motivated by concrete needs, expectations reflect traditional views of a company¶s or an entrepreneur¶s responsibilities toward employees and the community. It is only certain members of civil society and the political community that have recognized that CSR can be an essential component of sustainable economic activity. There is little long-term planning; in most cases companies are asked to help meet short-term needs. Indeed, given Nigeria¶s high poverty rate ± over 50 percent ± this is entirely understandable. German and other foreign companies in Nigeria have a positive attitude toward CSR, and CSR is particularly important for the major Nigerian banks, which have an international orientation. In addition to benefiting society, CSR activities are often undertaken as a way of promoting a company¶s image. Nigeria has a well-established ³culture of charity´; wealthy individuals and institutions contribute to charitable causes and use these contributions to garner positive publicity. In this respect there is little difference between the political realm and private industry. Companies in Nigeria are expected to promote transparency, even beyond what is required by law. This is encouraged by the government, which has made it clear that it has certain expectations, particularly of foreign enterprises. So far, however, there has been little response from companies despite the high priority attached to this topic because of Nigeria¶s widespread corruption. Sustainable business activity is discussed by NGOs and the media, but not by the wider public. As German industry becomes more and more active in Nigeria, the topic of CSR will gain increasing significance. The first German-Nigerian Economic Forum, which was held in Frankfurt on October 7 and 8, 2008, underscored the importance of responsible involvement by German companies, with particular emphasis on energy and transportation infrastructure. Nigerian officials highlighted the need for a comprehensive transfer of knowledge from German companies to their Nigerian partners. International development cooperation plays only a minor role in Nigeria. Only about one percent of the country¶s public spending is financed by contributions from international donors. The influence of such cooperation and of intermediary organizations is correspondingly limited. Nigerians tend to regard foreign companies, at least the major ones, as more important than development organizations. Similarly, in its foreign trade policy the Nigerian government attaches greater importance to working with companies than with development institutions.

there are high expectations that corporate social engagement will help counteract the negative effects (especially environmental damage) of oil production on the people of the delta region. More significant are increasing demands for these companies. as Nigeria¶s expectations concerning CSR are formulated more clearly. The northern part of the country is largely shaped by an Islamic order. it is important to ensure that corporate engagement is not coopted by local politicians. accordingly. and politicians are more involved in entrepreneurial affairs than their counterparts in Germany. as well as to the fact that companies in Nigeria ± unlike those in most African countries ± have a wide range of business opportunities unrelated to development. the young Nigerian democracy is still developing. While there are occasional calls for companies from Western countries to provide aid to Nigeria as a kind of reparations for the colonial era. In the political realm. with over 250 (over 400. It is conceivable. Source: German Embassy. Western companies are generally presumed by the Nigerian public to be wealthy. It is apparent that Nigerians have a healthy self-image and take pride in the productivity of their country. that companies might seek out the expertise of such organizations in the future. and Nigerian agencies often voice reservations about private aid efforts that are undertaken without local connections or proper regard for local structures. a fact that is relevant to any efforts to promote the status of women or to undertake health initiatives. Expectations towards companies Both policymakers and the public believe that companies have a moral responsibility to society. In connection with the crisis in the Niger Delta (protests against the environmental pollution caused by oil production). The Islamic tradition and. Since the end of the military dictatorship in 1999. Christian religious beliefs also shape expectations for corporate charitable contributions. organizations active in development and private enterprises have tended to work independently of one another. as ³globalization winners.So far. in other regions. and the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce CSR understanding Nigeria is a highly complex country. Abuja. development organizations in Nigeria have not had a great deal of experience working with companies in the field of CSR. Islam.´ to leave some of their profits in Nigeria. Companies are indeed becoming involved in the delta communities. according to some estimates) ethnic groups and a variety of religions (Christianity. this is really more of a rhetorical device than a matter of practical relevance. and companies need to take these factors into account in their CSR activities. There is also a fundamental expectation that companies and wealthy individuals will help alleviate poverty and provide support for the less privileged through their social efforts and donations. however. This is due in part to their relatively limited areas of activity. animism) and traditional social structures. .

however. They are also expected to contribute to basic and further training. Requests sometimes focus on help with vocational training because of Germany¶s excellent reputation in this area. it is often assumed that German companies are more reliable and willing to engage in longer-term efforts. and the government generally respects these rights within the existing legal framework. German companies are expected not only to be active in the business sector. Although forced labor is banned in Nigeria. too. focus on meeting the basic needs of the population. In the cultural sphere. but the potential dangers of such involvement and the political dimension of these conflicts suggest that companies should refrain from activities in this area unless they are well positioned within a network and have adequate political support. child labor is common in Nigeria. The expectations of the public at large. companies are asked to deal with environmental protection issues only when an urgent local problem requires a solution.). etc. most of all. Here. just as they highlight sports-related efforts. Children are regularly smuggled between Nigeria and . particularly those from the West. since the public educational system is of inferior quality. however. particularly in fighting poverty. Despite the fact that the minimum age of employment is 15. it is advisable to focus on large metropolitan areas that offer a broader range of cultural activities. not least because of the high quality of their products. Freedom of assembly and the right to collective bargaining are guaranteed by law. Involvement in social conflict resolution is fraught with difficulties. Accordingly. However. the ILO has noted that certain parts of the Trade Union Act of 2005 are in conflict with the right to collective bargaining. taking responsibility for their employees and their families (fair wages. in practice much remains to be done. unofficially it continues to be a problem. Basic conditions Implementation of international regulations and guidelines Although Nigeria is a party to the ILO core labor standards conventions. In most cases. although public awareness of clean and environmentally friendly corporate behavior is increasing. German companies have an outstanding reputation. and private schools are affordable only for Nigeria¶s upper classes. Despite efforts to implement the conventions.Expectations of CSR efforts by German companies are basically no different from the expectations placed on other foreign companies. German companies in Nigeria are particularly well respected. Certainly the many cases of ethnic and religious confrontation offer abundant opportunities. healthcare. particularly in the agricultural and informal sectors. Most affected are women and children who are forced to work in households. it is failing to comply with its reporting obligations. but also to be socially engaged. The media are likely to take note of cultural initiatives. This means.

and so far it is limited to the government sector.28 deaths/1.000 births (2008 est.32 years (2008 est. Participants Since the contribution of German companies to alleviating poverty primarily involves making direct payments to their employees.74 deaths/1. There are reports that pregnant women frequently lose their jobs.) Malnutrition: 9% (2002/04) Access to clean water: 48% (2004) Access to sanitary facilities: 44% (2004) Human Poverty Index: Ranks 80th of 108 (2007/2008) Gini Index: 43.7 (2003) Population under the poverty line: 70% (2007 est. A system of general insurance (health insurance and pensions) is only now being established. AREAS OF ACTIVITY Poverty A large percentage of the Nigerian people have an income below the poverty line or find themselves unable to meet their basic needs. Basic information y y y y y y y y Life expectancy: Total population: 46. . and there are many women in these categories. The reasons include widespread corruption.) Under its seven-point agenda. and in many cases they can find jobs only in the informal sector.53 years. females: 89.83 deaths/1. males: 101. the Nigerian government has pledged to combat poverty. despite Nigeria¶s material resources the government has so far failed to translate the country¶s economic growth into greater prosperity for the population at large. German and other companies could make a significant contribution to fighting certain aspects of poverty. females: 47. males: 45.78 years.neighboring countries to be put to work. Legal minimum-wage provisions do not apply to employees of small companies.) Infant mortality: Total: 95. It is not surprising that life expectancy in Nigeria is less than 50 years. Many Nigerians cannot afford a good education or basic medical care ± or even a well-balanced diet. However.000 births. private insurance is beyond the means of all but the wealthiest Nigerians.000 births. part-time workers or seasonal workers. Women are paid less than men for comparable work. in many cases the income from an official job is not enough to support a family. administrative inefficiency and the dismal state of the health and educational sectors. there is little opportunity for cooperation with other players. which is considerably lower than in other African countries.

6% (2003 est. Nigeria office http://www. Participants Possible participants include organizations for development cooperation (GTZ. it is no surprise that many German companies complain of a lack of well-trained local employees. trade unions. According to official figures. and the percentage of girls attending school is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for boys. males: 75.htm CIM Nigeria http://www. no specific projects have yet been launched. Since this is not a focus of GTZ¶s work in Nigeria. Private educational institutions are far superior to their public counterparts. Vocational training is almost entirely neglected in the public educational system. .php?id=nigeria Konrad Adenauer Foundation. companies continue to show interest.. ministries (Ministry of Industry.kas.asp German-Nigerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce http://www. however. The problem begins with the elementary schools and is even worse in the universities. females: 60. Nigeria¶s public educational facilities are hard-pressed to offer regular instruction of acceptable quality. females: 7 (2004) Owing to poorly trained teachers and a lack of financial Basic information y y y y y y Public spending on education (share of GDP): 0. and even in the private sector such training is rudimentary at trade associations. The informal sector is incapable of providing more extensive training.cimonline. some 60 percent of Nigerians remain functionally (1991) Compulsory school attendance: 6 11 years of age Rate of school enrollment: 60% of children who are required to attend school (2004) Literacy (definition: those over the age of 15 who can read and write): Total population: 68%. Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and political foundations (such as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.).7%. 0 = no education) Average years of education: Total population: 8. but only Nigeria¶s upper classes can afford them.gtz.ahk.) HDI Education Index: Rank 158 out of 177 (1 = max.html A number of German companies have expressed interest in working with GTZ to promote vocational training. the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation). GTZ Nigeria http://www. males: CIM etc. chambers of commerce. Given this situation.

Providing buildings and materials for local schools and financing a portion of teachers¶ salaries are among the most popular corporate contributions. polio vaccination campaigns with WHO and UNICEF. Cooperation with the responsible Nigerian authorities requires experience in dealing with local bureaucracies.) Life expectancy: Total population: 46. particularly with a view to helping train the skilled workers of the future. German companies employ a large number of Nigerian workers.).28 deaths/1.78 years.83 deaths/1.) HIV/AIDS sufferers: 3. There has been less emphasis on cooperation with institutions of higher education.74 deaths/1. although this too is an area that offers opportunities. the National Planning Commission and the Nigerian Ministry of Education.000 residents (2000-2004) Infant mortality: Total: 95. there are plans to open a school for power plant management.Within the scope of German-Nigerian cooperation on energy issues.4% (2003 est. Health Basic information y y y y y y y y Public spending on health (share of GDP): 1. HIV/AIDS education with USAID.6 million (2003 est. and most people cannot afford high-quality treatment or medications. Company examples Despite the above-mentioned problems in the educational sector. females: 47. Opportunities and risks related to educational initiativesBoth the government and the public regularly indicate that they expect foreign companies to be involved in capacity building. Possible partners include the African Development Bank. Discussions with employees are held about job responsibilities.000 (2003 est.000 births (2008 est.g. GTZ and other donors). which will train local employees to operate and maintain renovated or newly built power plants. and German companies set a good example in this regard. .000 births.) Child malnutrition: 29% of children under the age of 5 (1996-2005) HIV/AIDS prevalence rate (>15 years of age): 5.4% (2004) Medical care: 28 physicians per 100.32 years (2008 est.) HIV/AIDS deaths: 310. Broad-based prevention and educational efforts are limited to initiatives undertaken in cooperation with international organizations (e.000 births.) Nigeria¶s public medical care is inadequate. males: 101. Many companies have set up their own training programs to ensure that these workers are capable of producing the high quality that is expected of them. DFID. etc. females: 89. males: 45. but also about such topics as safety in the workplace and health risks (HIV/AIDS.53 years.

some Nigerian traditionalists view vaccinations with skepticism. CIM etc.usaid. reservations that are sometimes shared by local policymakers.who. Possible participants include organizations for development cooperation (GTZ. .int/countries/nga/en/ GTZ Nigeria http://www. The topic of HIV/AIDS is subject to widespread prejudice and taboos in Nigeria. ministries (Ministry of Industry. but instead offered help and support in the event of a positive result. Companies that want to provide their own health services need to clear this with the responsible Nigerian authorities. It is particularly important to make sure that those who volunteer to be tested are not stigmatized.unicef.htm Unicef http://www. trade associations. Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and political foundations (such as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. chambers of commerce. NDP Nigeria WHO http://www. a company wants to get involved in prevention efforts and education in the surrounding Opportunities and risks related to health initiatives Foreign employers are expected to cover the costs of medical care and medications for their employees.). trade unions. particularly for importing medications (not approved in Nigeria) and for working in healthcare professions. it is important to remember the role of Islam in society¶s expectations. When health initiatives are launched in northern a great deal of persuasion is required if. for USAID http://www. Nigeria imposes strict standards in this regard. Although the government supports vaccination campaigns in accordance with international standards (WHO etc. the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation).

neiti. FES. Again and Companies are not specifically expected to become involved in these issues. mention should be made of the government agencies EFCC ( Participants The German political foundations (KAS. The Association for Development Cooperation (AGEH) and the Civil Peace Service have initiated a program to promote the use of peaceful mechanisms for conflict resolution and to strengthen the role of civil society. This has also led to the requirement that companies awarded contracts in the lucrative oil and gas sector must demonstrate that a certain portion of their value creation involves Nigerian suppliers. Julius Berger Nigeria also offers its employees and their families access to the company¶s clinic in Abuja. With respect to corruption.icpc. as well as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI. universal Freedom of the press: Ranks 131st of 169 (2007) As a young democracy that was established after years of military rule. along with its Nigerian counterpart NEITI. religious tensions and unrest between ethnic and social groups lead to conflicts. Also a concern is the continuing. Nigerians want them to contribute to the development of the affected region and create jobs ± particularly for Nigerian citizens. German employers cover their employees¶ expenses for medical care and medications. often violent conflict in the Niger and ICPC (www. www. Randstad Deutschland GmbH & Co. HBS) seek to promote political Greater transparency in the crude oil and natural gas sector and an increase in political participation are also goals pursued by the NGO Publish What You Pay (www. Nigeria is regularly confronted with threats to its security and the stability of the political order. which has been the focus of intense and serious discussion and policy initiatives for a number of years. in which political factors play a major role. Instead.Company examples As a rule.efccnigeria.KG CSR WeltWeit case study (German): VSO ± Voluntary Service Overseas Political involvement Basic information y y Voting rights: 18 years of age.pwypnigeria. .

but they have not led to specific recommendations concerning CSR. Ibibio 3.5% Particularly in the northern. it no longer appears to be an option for companies to provide jobs as an alternative to involvement in militant groups in the delta region.gtz. Igbo (Ibo) 18%. However. The main opportunities for German companies to make a contribution in this area lie in efforts to support women in their vocational lives. Ijaw 10%. Participants GTZ is implementing a program to promote women¶s and children¶s rights in the northwestern state of Borno. thanks in part to related legislation. the following have the most political influence: Hausa and Fulani 29 %. Nigeria is a multiethnic nation in which the majority held by a given ethnic group applies only to the regional or local level. Participation in society Basic information Ethnic groups: More than 250. although it is slow. There has been progress in achieving equality for the disabled in Nigeria.5%. which has led to the development of a strong union movement. for example. no opportunity has arisen for cooperation.000 local jobs. causing the loss of some 1. The right to organize is guaranteed in Nigeria. there too they play only a marginal role in public life. Tiv 2. largely Islamic half of the country. Almost every part of the country includes several different minority groups. however. Nigerians generally favor efforts to help the disabled.htm Opportunities and risks related to efforts to promote participation in society . Little regard is given to the limitations of the physically disabled. While women in the southern part of Nigeria are more involved in business than women in the north. Yoruba There are serious cultural and religious obstacles to women¶s rights. While traditional prejudices against certain types of disability continue to exist in some regions.Opportunities and risks related to political participation There is little opportunity for German companies to become actively involved in this area. Kanuri 4%. women play little role in political affairs. Now that safety concerns have led Julius Berger Nigeria to withdraw from two states in the Niger Delta. These are factors that should be kept in mind. Since no German companies have begun operating in that state. Only certain isolated projects offer vocational support for disabled individuals. http://www. its significance is basically limited to the formal economy (particularly in the public sector).

German companies could be helpful by raising awareness and educating the public in their respective areas of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation). Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and political foundations (such as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Since efforts to promote the rights of these groups are rejected as interference in internal . Nigeria office http://www. ministries (Ministry of Industry. trade associations. it is crucial to proceed cautiously in this area. Participants Possible participants include organizations for development cooperation (GTZ. except as related to the environmental damage caused by oil production in the Niger per capita: 61 m3/year (2000) Hydropower.9 metric tons (2004) Energy consumption: 16.Especially in the northern half of Nigeria. solar.asp German-Nigerian Chamber of Industry and Commerce http://www. Environmental protection is not an area of public concern.7% of primary energy consumption (2005) Possible areas of activity include recycling. children¶s homes/orphanages and shelters for the homeless. funding of charitable facilities for the disabled. CIM etc. wind. geothermal energy: 0. Environment Basic information y y y y CO2 emissions per capita: 0. the treatment of women.cimonline. chambers of commerce.88 million kWh (2005) Water consumption (households/industry/agriculture): Total: 8.php?id=nigeria Konrad Adenauer Foundation. GTZ Nigeria http://www. children and the disabled is considered a private matter that should not concern outsiders. support for employees¶ rights of codetermination. trade unions.htm CIM Nigeria http://www. air pollution and soil contamination.). This is no doubt one reason why there has been little involvement in these matters on the part of German companies.01 km3/year (21%/10%/69%). Company examples In particular: vocational support for female

environmental issues are under the purview of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA). Other important actors are the Council for Renewable Energy in Nigeria (CREN) and the NGO Environmental Rights Action.KG CSR WeltWeit case study (German): VSO ± Voluntary Service Overseas Other Promoting sports activities is a way of reaching out to all of a company¶s employees and defusing religious tensions and other potential sources of conflict. On the Nigerian side. . participated in an exhibition on renewable sources of energy organized by the German Embassy. which is part of the Ministry of the Environment. located in Lagos. addresses environmental issues and climate change. Renewable sources of energy are an aspect of the energy partnership that has been established between Nigeria and Germany.Opportunities and risks related to environmental initiatives German companies can be most helpful by raising awareness and educating the public in their respective areas of influence. which was favorably received by the Nigerian government. Company examples Randstad Deutschland GmbH & Co. The Heinrich Böll Foundation. for example. Lahmeyer International.

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