A bill to monitor, collate and regulate the Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR activities of organizations and companies operating in Delta State has passed second reading on the floor of the State House of Assembly.
The bill entitled “Delta State Corporate Social Responsibility Monitoring Agency Bill”, was read for the second time at Wednesday’s plenary of the House with the lead sponsor, Chief Ferguson Onwo representing Isoko South 2 Constituency leading debates on the merits of the bill.
Chief Onwo who is the Chairman, House Committee on Housing and Women Affairs, said the benefits of the proposed law to the life of Delta State and its people was enormous as it would enhance the peace, development and good governance of the state.
The Lawmaker stated that the bill was seeking to establish an agency to be man by a Chairman, Director General and three other directors each representing each of the three senatorial district of the state with sole aim to ensure standards in the CSR programs of corporate bodies doing business in the state.
“The bill seeks to set up an agency with sole aim to collate, monitor and regulate the corporate social responsibility programs of over three thousand, hundred and seventy corporate organizations in Delta State. The proposed law will make it compulsory for the companies to submit to the agency their CSR plan for the year on or before 31st March every year”, Onwo explained.
Continuing Chief Onwo stressed “the advantages are enormous. It will bring standards to the Giving Back Mechanism amongst corporate organizations in the state as it would engender competition among the companies. Data would be collected and published at the end of every year. It will indeed fast track development in Delta State. I therefore, enjoined all my colleagues to support the bill and ensure its passage with the speed of light”.
The Majority Leader of the House, Tim Owhefere, Deputy Majority Leader, Oboro Preyor, Chief Whip, Princess Pat Ajudua, Deputy Chief Whip, Solomon Ighrakpata and Majority Whip, Festus Okoh, who rose in support of the bill explained that it will bring sanity and generate resources for the people of Delta State.
They Lawmakers explained that because government can not handle the issue of development alone, enabling law was required to ensure that the companies doing business in Delta State live up to their corporate social responsibilities.
In their arguments also in favour of the speedy passage of the proposed law, Honorables Emeke Nwaobi, Rueben Izeze, Emomotimi Guwor, Erhriateke Ibori-Suenu, Austin Chikezie and Charles Emetulu, described the Bill as apt and commendable.
They said the issue of CSR between companies and their host communities has gone beyond signing of Memorandum Of Understanding, MOU, explaining that the agency to be established by the proposed law will ensure that the companies conform with world best practices in their Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori referred the bill to joint committees on Trade and Investment and Special Bills.