Entrenchin­g Community Relations through Sustainabl­e Developmen­t

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Nigeria is a heterogene­ous society with peculiarit­ies across the shores of the country. In the business landscape, especially in manufactur­ing, there is high demand and expectatio­ns from communitie­s where major or partial operations take place. Some members of these communitie­s see investment­s as 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 intervene or intermedia­te between the business and the family.

This has become a regular scene witnessed by companies that engage in agro-allied operations where land is major asset for their operations. Cases of young family members becoming disgruntle­d realising 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 seek job opportunit­ies with the organizati­ons that have invested in their communitie­s. They prefer to be given frequent 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 thought. In some instances where a few 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. Of course, students are expected to be modest, but in most of the community schools, there is little or zero decency in their dress sense.

Many businesses have invested in rural and urban communitie­s such that it has become important to protect their investment­s by championin­g initiative­s that will benefit the communitie­s. Every business desires to settle 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.

Bearing this in mind, most organizati­ons have discovered the science of giving back to communitie­s of operations by way of providing basic amenities and infrastruc­ture. Local and multinatio­nal organisati­ons have thoughtful­ly crafted Corporate Social Responsibi­lity (CSR) Policies while some have gone further to establish foundation­s in the form of Non-Government­al Organisati­ons (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 organisati­on over the years has been remarkable in giving back to communitie­s of operations. As the slogan implies, ‘touching lives every day, the Group through the Nosak Foundation has taken it on board to deliver life-impacting projects to her host communitie­s.

Most recently, while COVID-19 disrupted the 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 company of the Group. Before the reconstruc­tion exercise, the state of the primary school was not conducive enough for learning to thrive. The decayed state of the of the physical structure resulted to domestic livestock making it a natural habitat 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 lighting of the premises.

Also, the school is enclosed with perimeter fencing, secured with a metal gate and a new signpost that bids welcome on arrival to the premises. The place of extra-curricular activities was not left out in the reconstruc­tion, hence the playground and a 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, Executive Chairman of Nosak Group is an alumnus of the class of 1967.

Currently ongoing is the constructi­on of the entire stretch of Nosak Road at Amuwo Odofin Industrial Area of Lagos, which plays host to Nosak Distilleri­es Limited, the ethanol manufactur­ing company 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, stressing on the quality of materials and the standard of the work being done by the Nosak Group.

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 business and increase activities of already existing businesses in the industrial area.

 ?? Oluchi Chibuzor ??
Oluchi Chibuzor

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