No one question has received attention by businesses, government,
politicians and people in general in the past few years than probably
the question of what the social responsibility of business should be.
This question, though originally aimed at profit oriented business in
now being posed to non-profit oriented business institution in the
society; Universities, hospital governmental agencies, charitable
organization etc. are all increasingly being confronted with similar
demand and being attacked for not assuring responsibility for society’s
ills and problems. As society awakens and become vocal with respect to
the urgency of social problems is asking the managers of all kinds of
organizations particularly those at the top as to what they are doing to
discharge their social responsibility and why they are not doing more.
About decade ago, a broad movement probably of an evolutionary
nature began in the utilized countries of the world. It is movement to
take institutions particularly business institutions more responsive to
human needs. The business firm is thus caught up in the stream of
events as it is being pressed by public sentiment and legislative and
regulatory action to respond to issue beyond its traditional task of
producing and distributing goods and services at a profit.
Traditionally, managers of business enterprises have been asked
by society to concentrate on using efficiently the resources at their
disposal to produce goods and services that customers wanted at agreed
prices, they were willing to pay, maximize profits. But today,
businesses are being asked to contribute more to the quality of life.
In discussing and analyzing commercial Banks and social
responsibility in Nigeria, the emphasis is not on what commercial bank
should or might do to tackle and solve problems of society, rather than
problems of their employees, shareholders and customers. The concept
of social responsibility for social and political goals and that they
became the keepers of society’s concern and not merely keepers of
society’s financial resources. The emphasis is on the contributions
banks can make to such social problems and social issues as support of
education, health and medical care, support for disables and unemployed
persons, than maintenance and restoration of the physical environment,
improving public transportation and involvement in community
development (e.g. borehole construction, children park, local market
It is pertinent to point out that the, social demands on business
have been and will continue to increase significantly and the role of
business firms in the society.
The amount of attention give not the area of social responsibility
by both management and society has increased in recent years and
probably will continue to increase in the future.
Background of the Study
The modern commercial banking dates bank to the colonial period
during which Nigerians was under the political administration of
Britain. It is not surprising therefore that the banking scene was
dominated by British banks which were affiliates of the leading banks
in United Kingdom.
Banking began in Nigeria in 1892 “under the initiative of foreign
investors, when the Elder Dumpster lines, a shipping company started
some form of banking business in the country to facilitate to own
transactions. By 1894, what was then the bank of British West Africa,
later Standard Bank Ltd, and now First Bank of Nigeria plc, became the
first to establish banking business in Nigeria. It remained the sole
bank until 1917 when later colonial bank, later Barclays Bank of
Nigeria limited and now Union bank of Nigeria Plc, open branches in
the country. The British and French Bank now United bank for Africa
affiliate of the banquet Nationale Pour’le Commerceetl’ Industries, a
large French banking establishment, came in 1947 to make the third
expatriate bank which dominated early Nigeria commercial banking.
Together the banks controlled close to 90% aggregate bank deposit.