CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – CSR
Abbott Oil Services Limited (AOSL) has a unique niche in its approach to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria in that it has prized and pursued a three-pronged CSR strategy – Human Capital Development, Personal Welfare and Community Impact Projects.
The objective of this approach is to ensure that the impact of the Group on its communities transcend the immediate to long-term, sustainable impacts and developments.
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
For Human Capital Development, AOSL has always promoted the concept of developing the capacity of the youths and residents of communities where it is operating by imbuing them with skill-sets that will continue to benefit them even long after the Company has completed its project and left the community.
The Group currently has a track record of speedy integration with host communities of projects it is executing irrespective of the volatility of the region and perceived hostility of the host community.
This feat has been achieved and is being sustained via a deliberate Community Relations Management Policy of integrating members of project host communities into the core of the project execution cycle.
Youths and residents of project host communities are given first consideration in manpower recruitment for project execution and even where they do not possess the skill-set required, they are sent on specialized training to acquire the relevant skills required to integrate them into the project cycle. Similarly, local contractors handle all supplies and minor sub-contracts and we have a policy of ensuring that we exhaust local availability of raw materials before bringing in anything from outside thus empowering local businesses.
The Personal Welfare approach involves Host Community Leaders who are also empowered via assistance with basic needs like vehicles and other forms of mobility and building, renovation and rebuilding of their places of abode and meeting. Women in our host communities are also grouped into co-operative units who are then empowered with cash grants to engage in small-holder trading, purchase of high-yield seedlings and sundry personal welfare endeavours.
COMMUNITY IMPACT PROJECTS
The third cardinal thrust of AOSL CSR approach is the Community Impact Projects which seeks to identify communal needs of host communities and take practical short and long term steps towards addressing them. Such projects include:
PROVISION OF POTABLE WATER
This has seen the group sunk boreholes, completed with large water reservoirs and modern sustainable pumping mechanisms in host communities.
FREE MEDICAL INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES
The Group also sponsors periodic Free Medical Intervention Programmes which entails taking Doctors and Medical Personnel to project host communities to diagnose and treat various ailments affecting residents of the communities. Those with more severe cases are referred to the nearest Hospital on the bill of the Group.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
Mindful of the religious needs of host communities, AOSL is also involved in ensuring that members of its community have befitting places of worship. The Group has thus constructed two magnificent places of worship for the people of Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State and Ehime Mbano in Imo State.
AOSL takes its CSR as seriously as it takes its track-record of excellent project delivery because touching the lives of members of the community will imbue in them a greater sense of ownership of the projects executed in their communities thus preserving the projects and ensuring their longevity.
LOCAL PECULIARITIES APPRECIATION
Another key policy of AOSL is to appreciate and integrate human development into each of its project execution cycles. The Group takes time to appreciate peculiar challenges faced by the communities where the project is cited and how the project will ameliorate those challenges.
The Group seeks to understand the dynamics of these communities and factors that have affected them prior to project executions and aggregates all this information into a holistic narrative which guides decision making processes and conduct of staff on project sites.
This approach has seen the group go the extra mile on several occasions over and above the regular project scope to accommodate peculiar needs of communities that will feel an adverse impact if the project is executed as specified.
This has in-turn earned for the group the admiration, respect and love of its project host communities such that while other contractors are afraid for the safety of their staff and equipment at project sites, staff of AOSL are feted and pampered by members of the community and AOSL equipments are not in danger of vandalization or damage.
Projects executed by the AOSL have opened up hitherto land-locked communities. These communities now feel a sense of belonging to the larger community and they have been integrated into the larger society.
AOSL have cited a Petrol Station at a community in Ehime Mbano, Imo State to ease the challenge hitherto faced by members of the community who had to travel almost 20 kilometers to the nearest urban area to get fuel for mobility and powering various equipment.
In all these, AOSL has ensured a fair deal for members of its host communities.