Corporate Social Responsibility of Multinational Oil Corporations to Host Communities in Niger Delta Nigeria
The volatile nature of corporate-community relations, which has meant significant loss in oil revenue for government and decline in corporate profit for multinational oil corporations (MNCs), has elevated the obtaining of a ‘social licence to operate’ from the periphery to the heart of strategic business thinking within the Nigerian oil industry. As a result, multinational oil corporations (MNCs) have increasingly responded to this challenge by adopting partnership strategies as a means of contributing to community development, building a mutually beneficial relationship with local communities and reinventing themselves as a force for good in their host communities.
This paper critically examines different community development partnership (CDPs) initiatives’ undertaken by Exxon Mobil and Elf oil Nigeria Limited within their corporate-community relations strategy in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Given the huge environmental control costs and the profit-minded nature of Multinational oil corporations, industry self-regulation is unlikely to be effective where it conflicts with the primary objectives of multinationals. Thus, to turn multinational oil corporations into a more positive force for sustainable development, voluntary initiatives must, by virtual necessity, be combined with effective regulatory mechanisms. The paper concludes by exploring the implications for partnerships’ initiatives and business-society relations in developing countries.
KEY WORDS: Community development, sustainable development, partnership, multinational oil corporations