I have heard of awards, I have followed awards and I have equally covered award events for the past 15 years. So when about 3 years ago my friend pointed to yet another invitation to cover an award, I saw it as one too many, hence I didn’t even consider attending it.
Like I said, awards in Nigeria seem to have become a get-ahead venture by all. Sometimes, because someone knows some people and believe they can donate money, such individual puts together award to honor them. I mean, we see awards in this part of the world as all comers project.
Years have passed and looking again, I think I should have attended that first edition of The CSR Reporters Philanthropic Awards on Social Impact and Sustainability Practices. That year, it was held at the Sheraton Lagos.
In my estimation, awards that celebrate helpers of our communities should be encouraged. And CSR Reporters philanthropic award is unique in that it celebrates and motivates CSR, Sustainability, Philanthropy and Humanitarian efforts across sectors and among individuals across Nigeria.
The award honours and celebrates the outstanding achievements of Nigerian companies that have played inherent roles as change agents in the socio-economic transformation of the nation and their noble initiatives in promoting sustainable economies and in serving the needy. “We want to highlight and give recognition to companies that have done their part in promoting sustainability in areas such as adopting greener supply chain, reducing pollution and waste, optimising product life cycles, increase productivity and optimising material usage, adopting good labour practices, looking after employees’ welfare, promoting health and safety while not forgetting to do good for the communities,” says Eche Munonye, Chairman and Founder of CSR REPORTERS magazine, conveners of this noble award.
It is also understood that the award recognizes individual efforts in helping to create a better society. The individual segments are covered in the social impact category of the award event.
Prior to the award ceremony, selection of recipient is carefully made by an esteemed panel of judges consisting of members of the media and a team of seasoned CSR and Sustainability experts.
The existence of clear purpose and goals of the company in the sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiative; its frequency, creativity and impact; the transparency in reporting and the financial outlay for the initiatives, are among the judging criteria used. “It’s important for the judges to evaluate each nomination carefully based on the judging criteria for the awards to select the award recipients.” says Eustace Onuegbu, President of International network for corporate social responsibility who was the head of evaluation for the 2021 award. “These recipients should be an embodiment of charity and hope in their very own ways for our aspirations for Nigeria go beyond that of just generating profits and developing world-class buildings and infrastructures.”
Some notable past recipients of the the CSR Reporters Philanthropic Awards on Social Impact and Sustainability Practices include corporations such as First Bank of Nigeria, Dangote Cement, IHS Towers, Ikeja Electric, AIICO Insurance, FCMB, Interswitch, Hope foundation, Nice Effect Advertising, Leadway Assurance. The social impact segment has about 20 categories of awardees and there have been some outstanding individual winnings: Mr. Umana Okon Umana, Gen. Buba Marwa, Mr. Fidelis Dukar, Dr. Edwin Isotu, Dr. Oshodi Paul, Mrs. Eunice Sampson, Mr. Monday Ubani, Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, Suleyman Abbas.
The climax of each year’s event is usually the crowning of the person of the year. In 2020, this coveted award went to Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, the Chairman of BUA Group and the 2021 edition was won by Barrister Allen Onyema, Founder/President of Airpeace.
However, even as I commend the organizers for their choice of venues, I think it will be great if they stick to one place as it will help to create identity for the event. From Sheraton Lagos to Radisson Blu, I believe that award of this magnitude should have a well-defined point of convergence to look forward to each year.
The CSR Reporters magazine, launched in 2018, is a monthly publication that endeavors to promote corporate social responsibilities (CSR) initiatives and sustainable economies by featuring CSR and sustainability initiatives carried out by corporations in Nigeria – initiatives undertaken to serve the underprivileged and the needy, and efforts made in protecting the environment. “We hope that the many heart-warming stories of charity featured in the CSR Reporters publications together with our annual Social Impact and Sustainability Awards will inspire more corporations, organizations and individuals to rise up to extend the much needed helping hand to make our world a better place for all,” says Eche Munonye, CEO/Managing Editor of CSR Reporters publications and Chairman of CSR Reporters Philanthropic Awards.
This year 2022 edition, I hear will take place on November 26th and it’s been learnt that some new categories have been introduced. Like I said in my opening, I stopped covering awards, but I will attend that of this year and will surely bring you information from the event.
By Bukola Olaosebikan