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CSR: Reps Threaten MTN, Airtel CEOs With Warrant Of Arrest

The House of Representatives has issued a stern ultimatum to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and Airtel Nigeria, demanding their presence at a committee hearing or face a subpoena.

This directive was announced during a public hearing on a bill aimed at regulating corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria.

Chairman of the House Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, Hon. (Prof) Oby Orogbu, delivered the warning during the hearing held in Abuja. 

Orogbu expressed frustration over the repeated failure of MTN and Airtel to honour the committee’s invitations, stressing  the legal obligations under Section 89, 8 of the Nigerian Constitution, which mandates companies to appear before Parliament when summoned.

“MTN and Airtel extract significant resources from our nation, yet they feel too important to respond to parliamentary invitations,” Orogbu stated.

 “This is unacceptable. We will not tolerate their disrespect towards the Parliament. We have extended all friendly measures to ensure their appearance, but they have consistently ignored us.”

She further urged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to facilitate a meeting between the Parliament and the telecommunication companies, highlighting the regulatory body’s role in ensuring corporate accountability.

 “As the regulatory body, you must organize these companies to meet with us. They operate under the powers granted by this Parliament, and their refusal to honor our invitations is intolerable,” Orogbu added.

The hearing, which aimed to provide a legal framework for corporate social responsibility in Nigeria, also saw contributions from other notable figures.

 House Leader Hon. Julius Ihonvbere, representing Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, berated corporate entities and government agencies for taking parliamentary invitations lightly. 

“In other countries, an invitation from the National Assembly is treated with utmost seriousness. Here in Nigeria, it has become a practice to disregard such summons, which is unacceptable,” Ihonvbere warned.

 

He explained  “corporate social responsibility is a critical obligation that organisations owe to their stakeholders and communities. This bill aims to formalize and regulate these responsibilities.”

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