THE BANKING SECTOR AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE)

THE BANKING SECTOR AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE)

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ABSTRACT

Corporate social responsibility is presently defined by the World Business Council of Sustainable Development as persistent commitment by businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while also increasing the quality of life of employees, their families, and the community. These findings suggest that a majority of Nigerian bankers are satisfied with the banking sector which they feel, overall, behaves in a socially responsible way, although they also noted concerns related to insider abuse and a lack of transparency among internal processes.  Implications for positive social change include informing policy makers and regulatory agencies in Nigeria about changes to public policy and the regulatory banking environment about risks associated with insider abuse and other internal processes in the banking industry that may damage efforts to improve corporate social responsibility with the goal of enhancing economic development in Nigeria.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

1.1    INTRODUCTION                                      

The debate about corporate social responsibility began in the last half of the twentieth century as a way to educate businesspersons on how to behave in a socially responsible manner by responding to the evolution of societal demands (Carroll ,1979 ; Garriga & Mele , 2004 ; Idemudia , 2011). The idea of business ethics and social responsibility is not new, but highly influenced by changes in social mores and local factors such as religion (Campbel,2007). Pre-christian western thinkers, Islam, and Christian have all advocated for corporate social responsibility (Blowfield & Frynas ,2005). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Quakers’ business credo was that businesses should both make a profit and increase the value of society (Amaeshi, Adi, Ogbechie & Amo ,2006). Nineteenth-century consumer  boycotts in the united states of goods community relationships that include ethics to sustain business because consumers prefer business to respect ethics and human rights (Cheng & Ahmad, 2010).        Corporate social responsibility has significantly evolved since then, and its current conception was devised by heads of states and non-governmental organizations at the United Nations sponsored Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 (Adeyanju , 2012; Russo & perrini,2010). Jenkins (2005) contended that in the late 1990s, leaders of the World Bank and other international agencies began to incorporate corporate social responsibility into frameworks due to a paradigm shift in eradicating ‘‘poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing mortality and improving health, and ensuring environmental sustainability’’ in an attempt to improve businesses and their behaviour. Corporate social responsibility is applicable to many types of organizations; however, banks are most sensitive to corporate social responsibility because the banking sector includes a diverse group of individuals (Achua ,2008). Banks are generally opaque, rather than transparent, in comparison to other financial institutions; this opacity can disguise problems (Awotundun, Kehinde, & Somoye, 2011). Banks also need positive reputations to have qualified employees, a large customer base, and many solid investors (Achua, 2008). If leaders of Nigerian businesses practice corporate social responsibility, they can address many of the challenges that face Nigeria. Corporate social responsibility in the Nigeria banking sector needs studying because it has the potential to lead to positive social changes by reducing poverty and corruption, increasing ethical and transparent banking practices, and increasing business in Nigeria.                         

  The stability of banking sector is vital to any society. Other financial institutions, industrial sectors, and service sectors of the economy are of paramount importance for development as well. However, these sectors need the banking sector to thrive, and a responsible banking sector is mandatory for societies to advance economically. According to Achua (2008), Corporate social responsibility and the banking sector have been entangled because corporate social responsibility is necessity in the banking sector. Additionally, it is critical to improve sustainable development in societies with high poverty rates such as in Nigeria. According to Adegbite and Nakajima (2011), effective corporate social responsibility is likely to make tremendous strides in the lives of Nigerians and Nigeria as a nation. Leaders in the Nigeria banking sector could practice corporate social   responsibility in an attempt to improve its standing in the community by helping to improve the society in which it   operate. If leaders of Nigerian banks practice corporate social responsibility and take the initiative to assist society, they stand to gain a greater profit because more individuals will have funds to invest in the banking sector.                                                                                         

1.2    OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                                

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the banking sector and corporate social responsibility in Nigeria. Specifically however, the objectives of the study includes:

1.      To ascertain if the banking sector engages in corporate social responsibility to their host communities.          

2.      To examine whether First bank of Nigeria has contributed towards the development of uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom state.                                                                                                                                                  

1.3    SIGNIFICANE OF THE STUDY                                                   This study is relevant in other to access corporate social responsibility in the Nigeria banking sector especially First bank. This is to examine the contribution of First bank towards the development of Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State. This study is also important because it will ascertain the impact of corporate social responsibility on Nigeria using First bank uyo, Akwa Ibom State as case study. The researcher believes that this study is relevant and will be of help to organizations especially those in the banking sector with regard to the need to ensure effective corporate social responsibility. This study as a matter of significance will also add to the existing knowledge about the banking sector and its role in development. It will assist student and other researchers in having better understanding of the locality in question which is First bank uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Hence the finds of this research will be of help to subsequent researchers who can build on the findings of this study.                          

1.4    SCOPE/ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

The study is focused on First bank uyo, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria as one of the major ports of entry in Nigeria so as to get in depth and comprehensive understanding of what is happening of what is happening in regards to corporate social responsibility and make the research meaningful. The study is organized into four chapters. Chapter one introduced the study, significant and scope of the study. Chapter two discussed the analysis of the subject and the theoretical framework of the study. Chapter three presented an overview of the subject. Chapter four also presented the conclusion drawn from the research findings and recommendation.



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