The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility must have been born from the need to impact directly on the general populace, organisational affiliation regardless, but one might not have to look too hard through many Nigerian organisations to see that what they have is a mirage – it can’t be felt, it can’t be held and when you attempt to look closer it’s nothing!
I remember a big outfit I went to and I was told they only sponsor handicapped pinball, for people below 15; how “thoughtful”!
You’re not creating or sponsoring a league and you’re not building academies, it would also have been splendid if there were training sessions for officials in the federation but nothing like that.
Clearly, that responsibility will never be executed while a large number of companies will keep hiding under more tailored responsibilities to do nothing.
There is another organisation with a social responsibility to assist young persons who have ideas on maritime/coastal cleanliness; now this sounds very caring and one might be tempted to applaud the idea of taking care of the environment but a closer look will reveal that actually nothing will be done because young persons will never meet the first requirements in that sector.
Now just as there are organisations that are seemingly insincere with their intentions there are a few that live up to the word “responsibility”, top on that list is Zenith bank, in approach, action and attitude.
First the idea of supporting women basketball up to being the league sponsor is undoubtedly a most noble one and the sincerity is highly commendable. It commands huge respect when a company decides to be socially responsible in such a great manner as financial implication is just as heavy as the word.
With this development, it is very clear what Zenith bank is up to; assisting strongly in Nigeria’s quest for national integration, aiding social development and ensuring that Nigerian women can keep flying and aiming higher in the game of basketball.
From picking a kind of responsibility that runs week in-week out, to a non-hypocritical approach and then sustaining the tempo, it is safe to say that the bank has the most enviable package in social responsibility as regards sports and social/mental development.
In all these, one can take a quick guess per the financial implication of such social responsibility and try to find any other bank that does this. This particular bank definitely has everybody in mind and understands the real definition of social contribution which others should emulate.
It’s really impressive what Zenith is doing with going as far as recognising and training basketball handlers so that the game can have better professionals and increased international presence.
Now I’m tempted to dig deeper and I promise to return with anything I find…for now Zenith leads the way!
Douglas Joe writes from Lagos