Corporate Nigeria rose to the task of mitigating the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy as 30 of the top companies listed on the country’s exchange donated a sum of N32.4 billion as corporate social responsibility in 2020.
This represents a significant surge compared to N12.1 billion recorded in the immediate reference period (2019). Most of these funds were donated to the CACOVID fund, a private sector-led coalition launched in March 2020 to assist the government in combating the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria.
This is according to data collected and verified by Nairametrics Research from the audited reports of the companies released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Why corporate social responsibility?
Nigeria is densely populated with over 200 million people, from which almost 83 million (40%) live below the country’s poverty line of N137,430 ($381.75) per year. The country is beset with several economic problems notably high unemployment and inflation rates.
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Several corporate entities operating in Nigeria have been known to contribute significantly to alleviating some of these problems as a way of giving back to society and this was particularly evident in the year 2020 when the nation was forced to deal with the unique challenges brought about by the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
According to a press release by the Central Bank of Nigeria in November 2020 on the activities of the CACOVID, the organisation received an outpouring of support from over 200 Nigerians and corporate entities, who provided in-kind donations, as well as funds to the tune of N39.65 billion to support the fight against Covid-19.
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Some of the programs embarked on by the organisation include food relief programs, provision of medical facilities and equipment, awareness campaigns, and also, response to the #EndSARS protest.
Data reveals that UBA, MTN Nigeria and Zenith Bank led the list of CSR donations made by corporations operating in Nigeria, in line with their Corporate Social Responsibility policies.
Below is the list of the highest spenders in 2020.
UBA – N5.1 billion
United Bank for Africa donated a sum of N5.1 billion in 2021 as part of its corporate social responsibility to Nigeria and other African countries.
The bank had announced a donation of over N5 billion ($14 million), through the UBA Foundation in other to catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds were also channelled towards improving Education in Africa, empowerment, environment, community development and sport.
Notably, according to the bank’s annual report, it supported the efforts of the Asisat Oshoala Foundation to build a solar borehole for the Ikorodu community and mentor hundreds of young girls at the Football4Girls training camp.
MTN Nigeria – N4.14 billion
MTN Nigeria Communications donated N1 billion to the Coalition Against Covid-19 and delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) through MTN Nigeria Foundation, summing up to N2.02 billion.
Also, the firm has an accrual of N2.05 billion made in the year for donations to the MTN Foundation, but no other donations to charity organisations during the year.
MTN Foundation is a duly registered charitable entity, which has three main areas of focus, namely: Education, Economic empowerment, and health.
Zenith Bank – N3.29 billion
The banking giant spent a sum of N3.29 billion as donations and charitable gifts in 2020. A significant increase compared to N2.73 billion donated in 2019.
Of the funds donated, N1.4 billion was directed to various state government infrastructure and Security Trust Funds, while N1 billion was contributed to the Coalition Against COVID (CACOVID). The bank also donated N100 million towards Lagos State (Abule-Ado) emergency relief fund.
It is worth noting that the tier-1 bank also contributed towards sporting activities, education, and medical services in this period.
Dangote Cement – N2.9 billion
The cement giant spent N2.9 billion on sponsorships and charitable donations in 2020 compared to N1.1 billion spent in the previous year. This increase was largely due to the company’s donations towards the mitigation of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the company’s annual report, Dangote Cement spent $5.8 million in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Dangote Cement’s donations also include 23 scholarships and school materials to students that participated in various educational support initiatives in various parts of the continent.
Access Bank – N2.6 billion
Access Bank contributed N2.6 billion to charitable and non-charitable organisations in 2020, a significant increase compared to N363.9 million donated in 2019.
The bank contributed about N1.8 billion towards the fight against covid-19 and donated N100 million to Ogun State Security Trust Fund.
A cursory look at the report shows that the bank also made donations towards education, sports, financial literacy, amongst others.
Other companies that made the list of big spenders in terms of donations include:
FBN Holdings – N2.29 billion
GT Bank – N1.87 billion
Flour Mills – N1.42 billion
Lafarge Africa – N1.26 billion
Dangote Sugar – N911 million