By; Jerome-Mario Utomi
As globally defined, Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) is an ethical framework in which individuals or corporations are accountable for fulfilling their civic duty and taking actions that benefit society. Viewed from a simpler prism, it means that individuals and companies must act in the best interests of their environment and society as a whole.
The above subject (Social Responsibility) recently came flooding after going through the news report that succour finally came the way of Mrs. Gladys Omodiagbe, the new quadruplet mum who was stuck in a private hospital in Warri, Delta State from October 2023 over her inability to settle the N4m medical bill incurred on her delivery.
The report specifically underlined that Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, cleared the outstanding medical bill of N4m owed the hospital on Saturday, noting that the management of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited dispatched its Chief Security Officer, Ashakah Orobosa, with a cheque for an unspecified amount of money to effect the payment of the medical bill to enable the discharge of the mum and her quadruplets from the hospital.
Adding context to the discourse, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, was in 2022, awarded crude oil pipeline surveillance contract by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). the contract was recently renewed by the Federal Government for another 4years term. Tantitan going by reports, is a registered corporate organization in Nigeria owned by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (A.K.A. Tompolo), the ‘Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation’ and Global Ambassador of the Ijaw people.
Without doubt, it will be convenient for many to argue that there is nothing philanthropic to attract media coverage of such a ‘low profiled donation’ particularly as the value of the donation in question is not measured in billions of Naira.
But for me, there are lessons to learn from this organization and every reason to celebrate their action.
First and very fundamental, the latest action demonstrated by the security Company has proved beyond reasonable doubt that its management is a bunch of well-respected and accomplished Nigerians laced with a mixture of empathy and sympathy in their corporate operations.
They in no way forget the society that made them!
Also important to underline is the fact that this selfless giving and freewill donation is coming at a time when other organizations largely bigger than Tantita Security Company are paying reluctant respect to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the country and view its underlying philosophy as a dangerous fiction put together to hand twist the rich and mighty in the society.
In the same vein, worthy of mention within the context of this conversation is the new awareness that the referenced donation has not only confirmed the renewal of the surveillance given to Tantita by the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) as a right step taken in direction but more than anything else, added fillip to the theory that the economy of developing the nation should by no means be left in the hands of the government alone.
Take as an illustration, if the Federal Government had not empowered Tantita Security Company Limited via the recently renewed pipeline surveillance contract, chances are, in my view, that the organization, even if they were natural willing, may not have the financial means to assist the woman in her predicament and others they have assisted in recent time within the Niger Delta locality.
Regardless of what others may say, apart from this demonstration of human kindness, this piece also holds the opinion that the resounding successes recorded by Tompolo’s Tantita in the recent past in its daily discharge of the high priced national assignment now stands as eloquent testimony that the nation Nigeria may not need gun boats to solve its problems particularly, in the oil rich Niger Delta region, reputed for crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Tompolo has through democratized securitization of the region and creative employment of the region’s team youth shown that what the nation needs to sustainably solve the region’s challenge is but a sincere and selfless leadership, a politically and economically restructured polity via sustainable Public-Private sectors partnership.
As the nation and the people of Niger Delta region celebrate High Chief Tompolo’s exemplary humanity and liberation of the people of the region from economic hardship and environmental pollution, it is equally important to recognize that his contributions towards restoration of peace and sustainable development in the region is long standing, noticed across the globe.
This fact in my opinion deeply qualifies him as a catalyst for a new order and Niger Delta region’s ambassador for peace and development.
Finally, learning to give back to villages and vulnerable Niger deltans in the crude oil, gas and pipeline bearing communities is one lesson that corporate organizations especially International Oil Companies(IPCs) must learn from Tantita Security Company Nigeria Limited. On the other hand, the Federal Government must understudy Tantita community policing system with the aim of drawing useful lessons and applying same to the Nigeria policing architecture.
Like High Chief Tompolo, other well meaning Niger deltans equally have a role to play in this call for giving.
Jerome-Mario Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy) at Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He can be reached via email@example.com/08032725374.