In the business world, the Corporate Governance function of giving-back to communities and all other stakeholders (in the form of appreciation by showing care to people in the society), is a compelling duty for all organisations, for the interests of their operational environment. A company in Nigeria is visibly making efforts at building an empathetic corporate image in this regard. This gesture, in fact, is a commendable feat, especially in these hard times that the world is going through financial difficulties after the COVID-19 era. One is mindful of the fact that a properly structured system will tap into this measure as a low hanging fruit as required by corporate governance. No doubt, this company (for their long-term management delivery success) is proactively and effectively facilitating very formidable prudent management for the company’s sustainable existence; especially as it is being implemented by the investor himself, who is a consummate entrepreneur in the corporate world. He is not wasteful with money, neither is he a “father Christmas” or one that runs a charitable organisation but, a visionary and an astute business mogul (being a prudent manager) that wants the company to perpetually be sustained as a going concern.
The chief executive officer of fast growing Nigerian airline with international flight operations in the aviation industry, “Air Peace”, Allen Onyema, from the South Eastern flank of the country (precisely, Anambra State), is making waves, blazing the trail by always being handy to offer free international flights from his fleet, to trapped Nigerians (especially Nigerian students studying abroad). Currently, in the war torn country of Sudan, he has freely offered to lift Nigerians back. He spends hundreds of millions on operations like this, as a patriotic nationalist. He has been doing this whenever there is need. We can all recall the instances when he sent his pilots, crew and planes to evacuate stranded Nigerians in South Africa on account of the Xenophobia killings of Nigerian nationals. Again, the most recent one was in 2022 in Ukraine, where the Nigerian students were left at the mercy of not being hit by Russian missiles in the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine. As an observer of these developments, especially his contributions towards the general good of Nigerian citizens, in saving the lives of those in danger on foreign lands, spending billions of naira, he deserves to be commended. These are life saving efforts undertaken each time the situation demands (even putting the lives of his staff, the pilots and other crew members at risk during such rescue missions).
Other indigenous airline operators in the country can borrow a leaf from his lofty gesture and kind hearted sacrifices for the country. There are others in the same aviation industry that should and ought to be supporting the federal government in rescuing her citizens whenever the occasion demands such rescue operation. It is true that he factors such operations into his corporate social responsibility (CSR) scheme and programmes but, that would not have been possible without the willingness of the members in the company’s Board of Directors that constantly make such decisions along with him. CSR is ever very important in the business world because, the management (in implementing it) always considers its impact on the company’s resources, sustainability, ethics, the company’s goal and responsibility; they also look at the long-term effects in running their business, as well as the market, with clear sincerity as they implement the CSR scheme.
It is, indeed, a self-regulating business model that helps a company to be socially accountable to itself, the stakeholders and the general public within the operational community. Understandably, these actions, sacrificially being taken by Onyema, invariably, is what makes Air Peace thick in her flight operations all over the globe. This is because by the CSR practice, Air Peace is conscious of the type of impact they make on the society, with respect to the economic, social and environmental, among other aspects. Air Peace knows that by such engagements they are not contributing negatively to the system but enhancing the society and its environment.
One believes very strongly that Air Peace will be in the vanguard of embracing environmental responsibility in all their operational climes. This includes the measures being taken to improve the operational environment in a sustainable manner. This is because, otherwise, if the environment collapses, everything collapses as well (including their business operations). This reason then addresses the aspect of reducing harmful practices, regulating energy consumption, and offsetting negative environmental impact by encouraging planting of trees, funding research programmes and donating towards related environmental causes. These days that renewable energy is being promoted through energy transition from fossil fuel sources to recyclable sources that are sustainable, reliance on such are encouraged to experience an increase by energy consumers. The environment, under a socially responsible manner, is encouraged to be kept clean by decreasing pollution, reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), and that of other environmental wastes. There is no way a company like Air Peace has not started benefitting from her CSR engagements in form of positive publicity; being more attractive to top talents who want to be associated with the company based on their positive impact on the society; the entire staff also becoming more connected and feeling proud of their work, which includes an improved relationship with the community that can increase their support to their friendly company; expanding its customer-base in new markets (as Air Peace now has multiple flight schedules to other countries), with increased customer trust and loyalty as they establish a strong brand; and finally, they become more attractive to investors/lenders for securing of funds. I salute Allen Onyema for his patriotism and philanthropy through Air Peace’s CSR rescue missions.
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