The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) has called on private companies in Anambra State to prioritize their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligations to foster mutual relationships and promote development within their host communities.

Mrs. Emelda Nwajiofor-Okoli, the Federal Commissioner of the PCC in Anambra, made this appeal during a Town Hall meeting in Awka. The meeting, themed “Systemic and Proactive Investigation into Compliance to Corporate Social Responsibility by Private Companies in Anambra State,” aimed to address the importance of CSR in community development.

Nwajiofor-Okoli highlighted that the commission has received numerous complaints from residents and communities about issues such as environmental degradation, air and noise pollution, and administrative injustices. She emphasized that many of these issues could be mitigated if companies adhered to their CSR obligations.

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The PCC plans to begin enforcing compliance with CSR obligations in Anambra. “Companies should take responsibility for the social, environmental, and economic impacts of their operations. In Anambra, we have seen positive effects of CSR initiatives in education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. However, we need more rigorous monitoring and enforcement to ensure these initiatives result in real change,” said Nwajiofor-Okoli.

“Our role at the PCC is to oversee and ensure compliance with CSR obligations to enhance CSR practices in Anambra. Together, we can create an environment where businesses and communities thrive, fostering a sustainable future for all,” she added.

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Mr. Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf, Chief Commissioner of the PCC, noted that the commission is empowered by law to investigate complaints of maladministration, including those related to CSR. Represented by the Head of the Legal Unit, Mr. Gabriel Eze, Ayo-Yusuf stated that the commission can hold companies accountable to ensure their CSR activities meet the needs and expectations of host communities.

Mr. Charles Ekwunife, the Director of Investigation at the PCC, described Anambra as a business hub and urged the state government to establish a CSR unit to promote and monitor compliance, as well as drive community development. He stressed that the public should be aware that companies have an obligation to give back to their communities.

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Dr. Felix Odimegwu, Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, described CSR as a form of public-private partnership that supports the government in infrastructure, community development, and job creation.

Igwe Gerald Mbamalu of Ojoto in Idemili South commended the PCC for raising awareness about the importance of CSR compliance. He noted that with such awareness, community leaders could hold companies accountable, fostering good relationships that benefit both parties.