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Industrial societies are changing in an unprecedented speed due to the activities of Multinational Corporations (MNCs). MNCs are in the middle of a contending debate about their activities, most especially in the Less Developed Countries. The Neo-Liberal scholars believed that MNCs provide lots of benefits to the host community, most especially in the aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility like the provision of scholarship scheme, basic social amenities etc. while the Dependency school of thought believed that the disadvantages of MNCs operating in their host communities outweigh the advantages or the benefits. In this regard, the problematic of this research is to assess the impact of the British American Tobacco Company (BATC) in the aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from year 2000 when the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) became BATC, to the year 2014 when they stopped production in Zaria and downsized. The reason for this research is in an attempt to understand why despite effort by MNCs to contribute to CSR in the area of operation, there is still agitation and restiveness between the host community and the MNCs. The study adopted Dependency Theory as a framework for analysis. Relevant data were collected using the instrumentality of both secondary and primary sources. Survey and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) methods were used to obtain relevant information. The study area location was considered prior to the period or scope of study (before year 2000) when the company was known as NTC; this formed the baseline data. The research revealed that BATC Zaria has performed below expectation in terms of its duties and responsibilities as a MNC in providing basic social amenities, and has not contributed to any meaningful development of its host community. As such, the people of the host community are not generally satisfied with the performance of BATC as they feel neglected by both government and the company, that the government and the company do not work with their consent and in their own interest, and they have not been carried along, thereby depriving and denying them of some benefits meant for the community. We however recommend that government should find a way to compel firms to do more for the society in which they operate; this will help reduce conflict and give the firm a better image.
1.1 Background to the Study
Industrial societies are changing at an unprecedented speed, influenced mainly by globalization
and global interdependence. They are also influenced by technology, education, commerce,
social networking and so on. In the heart of these changes are businesses which have continued
to grow unhindered even in the midst of all sorts of adversities. The more they grow the more
they build immunity around them to prevent failures. As they grow, they acquired enormous
political clout and power. They go into Mergers and Acquisition M&A (mergers and acquisitions
M&A, are the area of corporate finances, management and strategy dealing with purchasing
and/or joining forces with other companies), and some of those M&A are hostile. The influence
of the big businesses is so pervasive that even if you don‟t want them, you may find that sooner
than later their products would find you. This is influenced by the convergence of ideologies,
tastes, technologies, free and easy movement of people and capital, and international political
cooperation. Young people nowadays identify more with products more than with countries.
Coca-Cola products are in every nook and cranny of the planet. The same can be said of many
other products such as cars, computers, etc.
However, all these products could be as a result of the operations of the Multinational
Corporations (MNCs) from one country to another. Walter and Areskong (1981) argued that any
company that manages, owns or controls production facilities in several foreign locations
qualifies as a MNC. “Since the World War II, international business has undergone what is
probably the most important economic phenomenon of the latter half of the twentieth century,
the MNCs (Shapiro, 1986).
1 | P a g e
MNCs have been projected by western economists such as Smith (2005); Todaro, (1977); Ulmer
(1980) etc. as the first lasting solution to problems of development to Less Developed Countries
(LDCs). It has been contended by these western economists that developing countries should
engage in inter-trades, attract direct foreign investment for a range of manufacturing industries
and to export raw materials to developed countries in order to establish their own economic
structure. With the technology and financial resources available in developed countries notably;
USA, Britain, France, China etc. it is argued that MNCs will through their investments in LDCs
help these poor countries reach their economic goals of development, most especially in the
aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). One initiative most companies engaged in,
most especially MNCs, is the activities of Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR is all about
“responsibilities to society beyond that of making profits for the shareholders”.
CSR is significant for almost all MNCs, regardless of country of origin, size and sector. CSR is
an increasingly essential element in the business world. The first impression many people have
towards corporations is that businesses are taking advantage of consumers and society. In their
minds, they think businesses are all about profit-making, and they care less about society, the
environment, and human rights issues.
Many multinational companies have established well-developed CSR programs and adhere to
their code of conduct to do businesses ethically, help the economy grow, create larger job
markets, protect the environment, raise public attention on certain issues, and more areas to bring
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