Entrenching Community Relation Through Sustainable Development
Nigeria is a heterogeneous society with peculiarities across the shores of the country. In the business landscape, especially in manufacturing, there is a high demand and expectations from communities where major or partial operations take place. Communities of operations see investors or investments as their tenants on their soil not minding the number of indigenes taken on board as employees.
This obligation has birthed a sense of right such that assets and facilities of businesses have become susceptible to attacks at the slightest provocation. Most often than not, issues of land occupancy arise especially when the fathers who leased or sold out the property are all deceased and nowhere to mediate or intermediate between the business and the family.
This is a regular scene witnessed by companies that engage in agro-allied operations where land is chiefly the asset for their operations. Cases of young family members becoming disgruntled realizing the proceeds from the investments made by organizations in their communities have led to unreasonable demands for supposed entitlements. It is worthy to note that in most of these communities, a good proportion of the young population rarely seeks job opportunities with the organizations that have investments in their communities. They would rather prefer to frequently be given cash benefits or proceeds from the investments.
Education in these rural communities is taken with laxity living the existing educational infrastructure to idle away. Cases exist where some community schools have teachers and no pupils or students to be taught. In some instances where a few populations are attending the schools, the insouciant attitude of the students to the time they resume is something to worry about as they are seen strolling magnificently at hours lectures should have commenced. Students are expected to be modest, but in most of the community schools, there is little or zero decency in their dress culture.
Many businesses have invested in rural and urban communities such that it has become important to protect such investment by championing initiatives that will benefit the communities. Every business desire to be settled in a community where there is harmony and mutual relationship. This is key to the growth and wellbeing of the business and its personnel. For businesses to thrive, there is a need to create such an environment of haven that becomes a home away from home.
Bearing this in mind, most business corporations have learned the science of giving back to communities of operations by way of providing basic amenities and infrastructure. Local and multinational have thoughtfully housed a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, while some have gone further to establish foundations in the form of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to drive sustainable business initiatives and relationships. This has become a panacea to enhancing business sustainability across operational environments.
Nosak Group, a Nigerian business organization over the years has been remarkable in giving back to communities of operations. As the motto implies, ‘touching lives every day’, the Group through the Nosak Foundation has taken it upon itself to drive corporate social responsibilities delivering life-impacting projects to her host communities.
Most recently, while COVID-19 disrupted the strategic business landscape, the Foundation embarked on the reconstruction of Ogunbor Primary School located at Ukhiri, a community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, off Benin/Abraka Express and Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, Benin City.
This was necessitated as part of activities to fulfill one of the cardinals of the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, which is ‘Education’. The project was implemented for the host community of Saturn Farms Limited, the agro-allied subsidiary of the Group. Before the reconstruction exercise, the state of the primary school was not conducive enough for learning to thrive. The decay of the physical structure was in a ruin that it became a natural habitat for domestic livestock in the community.
Today, with the intervention of the Nosak Foundation, the Ogunbor Primary School wears a new look. The facelift has seen the school remodeled with installed amenities and facilities which include a rebuilt 3-classroom block, renovation of a 5-classroom block, upgrade of toilets, furnished classrooms, installation of fans and electrical fittings, interlocking pavements, flower beds, and electrification of the premises.
Also, the school is walled round with a wired fence with a secured metal gate at the entrance and a new signpost that bids welcome on arrival at the premises. The place of extra-curricular activities was not left out in the restructuring hence there is a playground and football field for pupils to have some exciting and entertaining moments out of the classrooms.
Eghosa Anglican Grammar School, located in Benin City also experienced a facelift with the renovation of a 5-classroom block furnished with desks and electrical fittings. The extension of the renovation exercise was a way of giving back to the school where Dr. Toni Ogunbor, the Executive Chairman of Nosak Group is an alumnus of the class of 1986.
Currently ongoing is the construction of the entire stretch of Nosak Road at Amuwo Odofin Industrial Area of Lagos, which place host to Nosak Distilleries Limited, the ethanol manufacturing business of the Group. The road is one of the major routes linking Oba Akinyemi Road and Babangida Road in the industrial area. As an organization that prides itself to deliver quality products, this is further seen on the road construction with the quality of materials mobilized to the site.
In a recent visit to the site by the Executive Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area (L.G.A.), Engr. Dr. Valentine Buraimoh expressed his delight in stressing the quality of materials and the standard of the work been done by the contractors.
The construction of Nosak Road became a child of necessity to enable the free flow of vehicular movement especially Heavy-Duty trucks in the industrial area and to complement the Government’s effort in creating an enabling environment for businesses. It is no doubt that on completion of the road, business activities will experience a boost within the premises as it will pave way for new entrants of small-scale holders and increase activities of already existing businesses in the industrial area.
Over the years, Nosak Groups provides support to partner NGOs to reach out to students in some rural communities and slum settlements. This support comes in form of education/career summits, donations of writing materials, and scholarships to indigent children. The management of the organization is passionate about children’s education as every child has a right to quality education. This has resulted in the drive for providing comfortable and convenient learning environments to communities of operations.
It is no doubt that one of the catalysts to development is the involvement of the private sector and captains of industries to support the government in delivering good governance to the people. It is noteworthy to call on more organizations to initiate sustainable business mantras in their plan to benefit communities of operations. This way, the bulk of the public will feel the presence of governance with access to basic amenities and quality education.