CSR: Reps Threaten MTN, Airtel CEOs With Warrant Of Arrest

31

The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave the Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) of Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and Airtel Nigeria an ultimatum to honour its invitation or risk being subpoenaed.

Chairman of the House Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Hon. (Prof) Oby Orogbu issued the threat at a public hearing on “A bill to regulate corporate social responsibility in Nigeria and for other related matters” held in Abuja.

While addressing the Nigeria Communications Commission’s (NCC) representative on the actions of some companies operating in the country that had over time violated the laws of the land, Orogbu frowned at MTN and Airtel for consistently ignoring invitations of the committee hence the need to evoke the necessary constitutional provisions against their leadership.

She said “Section 89, 8 of the Constitution mandates individual companies as invited to make themselves available to parliament but they break the law and I want to tell you Sir, MTN and Airtel that they take so much from our nation and they feel too big to appear before the parliament, we will not tolerate that.

“I want you (NCC) as a regulatory body to organise those telecommunication companies where they will be meeting between this parliament and the telecommunication. We gave them the powers to operate in Nigeria so to refuse to honour the invitation of the parliament is a no, no, we take exception to it. The parliament is frowning at it and this is an opportunity to say it clearly.

“If MTN is here and I have taken all friendly measures to make them understand the need to appear before the parliament but they have refused. If you feel you are responsible, then you should appear before the parliament. We want you to be responsible and accountable. They operate across the country and they have disrespected the same nation by not honouring our invitation.

” We want the Committee to be socially responsible. If you are providing any social responsibility let us know what you are doing. All we want to know is what you are doing. We are not here to witchhunt any company.

“As a public affairs representative of NCC, please reach out to these telecompanies and tell them to make themselves available. If they disrespect the parliament, it doesn’t indicate anywhere that they are responsible.

“Other companies show up, give account and we even go on oversight but NCC is one company that has given us problems insisting that they are in court, which is not acceptable”, she stated.

While declaring open the public hearing, House leader, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere who represented Speaker Tajudeen Abbas warned corporate entities and government agencies from taking the House for granted disclosing that it takes a lot of resources to put together a public hearing.

“Let me sound a note of warning to those that are not here. In other climes, when you see an invitation from the National Assembly you don’t take it as a joke. But here in Nigeria, it has become a rotten practice where people don’t take National Assembly invitations seriously.”

He said the bill to regulate corporate social responsibility in Nigeria is one of the legislative processes to provide legal status and guidance to our corporate social responsibility in our country.

“We are aware that corporate social responsibility is a social obligation that corporate organisations discharge to their stakeholders, individuals, and communities in society. Often, these corporate responsibilities are rarely coordinated and documented.

“This bill seeks to provide legal status and guidelines to corporate responsibility for better coordination and regulation.

“The success of this legislative process is dependent on your response and contribution to this public hearing. Public hearing is part of our legislative process to engage citizens in lawmaking, especially because the proposed law has an impact on the people.

“Your robust ideas and expected contribution to the discourse will no doubt shape the outcome of this meeting”.

In his presentation, the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Wondi Ndanusa raised concerns about the proposed penalty of imprisonment to defaulting companies, he said rather than the penalty, it should be persuasive.

He also said that many companies face financial burdens and responsibilities and proposed that the SCR should be domiciled in the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Speaking also at the hearing, a representative of the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, Bala Wuoir expressed concern that PIA already mandates oil companies operating in Nigeria to make a financial contribution of three per cent of their profit to NDDC so mandating them do so more will be burdensome on them.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Dental Implant