Saturday, 16 June 2018

C'river state youths to engage companies operating in the state on their CSR

| 16 June 2018 | Esther Okoi 

One of the questions that have plagued the minds of many concerned youths of Cross River State since the reawakening of the realization that corporate organizations operating in the State have failed in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is how to fully engage these companies on CSR to their host communities and the Local Content.

As a way of kick-starting the process of mapping out modalities on the how to approach this very sensitive issue, the Special Assistant to the Cross River State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Prince Onyi Agbor on the insistence of the Commissioner, Comrade Asu Okang, convened a meeting of stakeholders and concerned Youths to brainstorm best approaches to explore in the realization of a positive outcome.

Mr. Agor Onyi decried the level at which Cross Riverians are used to do miniature jobs in these companies while people from other parts of the country occupy Managerial positions, leaving even youths that are competent and qualified to roam the streets in search of jobs. He described the excuse of inexperience by some of these companies as lame, emphasizing that as long as a person is qualified; he can be employed and given on the job training as the case may be.

Mr. Samuel Odey opined that it is pertinent to first and foremost, study the Local Content Law pari passu the act establishing these organizations and then formally write to them to lay bare demands and expectations without being confrontational from the beginning. In the same vein, Inyali Peter suggested that this can be done in synergy with the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to write correspondences to these organizations and possibly pay them a courtesy calls and have relevant statistics handy, adding that this is about the State and not individuals.

Comrade Solomon Praise, PA, Youth Mobilization, Abi, inferred that the Local Content provides that not less than 60% employment of the junior cadre must be home based while about 10% should be included in the managerial level, adding that these companies know about the Local Content Law but certain loopholes do not allow the system to work effectively. He also called for synergy between the NYCN and the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, pointing out that NYCN is a pressure group that is constitutionally recognized and has the tenacity to drive the process to succeed, while the Ministry will provide the Government presence and support.

Also, the Public Relations Officer, NYCN, Elvis Okon Enyam recounted how some communities in Akamkpa Local Government Areas playing host to some of these companies are suffering as a result of direct operations of the companies whose Corporate Social Responsibilities are zero. He faulted also their excuses for the need of experts but ironically offer scholarships to indigenes to study in the College of Education, Akamkpa. He called on the Youths of Cross River State to stand up and fight to set things right rather than follow status quo.

The President, Niger Delta Youth Development Foundation (NDYDF), Cross River State Branch, Mr. Eteng Eteng stated that except the Youths of the State wake up to the need to correct this anomaly, posterity will suffer, maintaining that there are youths in the State who are capable of handling supplies of raw materials and distribution as well as other contracts in these companies but who are not considered for obvious reasons.

With the background and purpose of the meeting fully established, the meeting was rescheduled for Monday, 18th June 2018 to give stakeholders room to come up with statistics and a concrete plan while giving other stakeholders the opportunity to attend the meeting.