Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Friday charged all corporate organisations operating in the state, to make it a priority to be socially responsible to their host communities.
Governor Wike gave the charge at the commissioning of Oginigba health centre, built and equipped by International Breweries Plc, at Oginigba community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Wike commended the management of International Breweries Plc, for the decision to build a health centre for their host community.
He explained that the provision of healthcare facility was important, while also urging the people of Oginigba community to be protective of the facility.
“This is how it should be, corporate organizations must see themselves as cooperate citizens of their operational communities, hence they must respond to the social needs of the people without necessarily asking for it.
“This is what is known as corporate social responsibility, unfortunately, some corporate organizations think it is a waste to attend to the social amenity needs of the people where they are doing business, arguing that having paid taxes to the Government, it is the Government’s responsibilities to carter to the needs of the people.
“This erroneous assumption is what bring about disagreement between companies and their host communities, whereas this is the way companies can enjoy peaceful environment for the conduct of their business, so much so that there will be no community protest, and there will be no disruption of business, hence the opportunity to increase their profitability.
“The healthcare facility being commission today will help the people of Oginigba community and also count as an important example to the ownership of the government of the state in health care delivery sector.
“It’s location close to a primary school makes it more important, I urged other cooperate entities to emulate this approach and not wait for protests by the people of the host communities before doing the needful.”
The governor represented at the event by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, also urged the management of International Breweries Plc to employ the local people and the people of the state, in the company, to give them a sense of belonging.
Also, the Legal/Corporate Affairs Director, International Breweries Plc, Otunba Michael Daramola, said that the company’s dream of a better world drives its CSR vision to support communities within Nigeria in the area of empowerment, education, health, infrastructural support and lifestyle.
Daramola said it was the same dream of a better world that led to the vision of supporting the state government to provide the Oginigba Primary Healthcare centre to the people of the community and environs.
“With today’s project, we are also demonstrating our contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SGD-3 Good health and well-being; SDG-6 Clean water and sanitation and SDG-9: industry, innovation & infrastructure.
“Aside this health centre, it will be recalled that around this time last year 2019 we also renovated the Oginigba Community Primary School Borehole. This borehole currently provides potable water to about 1.6 million beneficiaries including pupils, teachers and villagers.”
For his part, the Paramount Ruler of Oginigba Kingdom, HRH King G.B Odum, commended the management of International Breweries Plc for building a primary health centre for community, which would help promote qualitative healthcare delivery.