First Bank canvasses CSR as strategy for business growth

First Bank of Nigeria Plc has called on corporate organizations to create, sustain and promote good relations with their host communities as a strategy for sustainable business operations.

The Director, First Bank of Nigeria’s Sustainability Centre, Lagos, Dr. Chris Ogbechie, said it was time for companies, which contribute to economic growth, to be alive to their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) if they intended to continue in business.

Ogbechie stated this at the bank’s Sustainability Centre at the Lagos Business School in Lagos, where participants from various organisations in the country gathered for a training on sustainability.

The director said the training commenced last Monday and was instituted four years ago by the bank.

Ogbechie, who observed that “corruption” was part of sustainability, reiterated that the bank had commenced the programme before the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the principle in 2013 for banks to imbibe.

According to him, the training is meant assist organisations to develop and promote good community relations between organisations and their host communities.

He pointed out that the training sought to highlight why organisations should take adequate care of their immediate environment, and stop being concerned about revenue to the detriment of their host communities.

Failure in this area could spur hostility between organisations and their host communities.

Ogbechie, who also teaches strategy and corporate governance at the Lagos Business School, observed that the bank was committed to the course in view of global warming and other environmental challenges facing the world.

He said, “The focus of the programme is to get the company and people operating in extractive industry and power to understand the way to run their businesses in a sustainable way. The programme will also aid bankers who sit on the energy and power desks to understand what is important in terms of lending money to companies who operate in extractive industry and power business.”

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