Purpose – This paper aims to explore the question of the role of business in development from acontextual point of view. The context is Nigeria and its development challenges contrasted with the Nigerian oil industry, which dominates the Nigerian economy as the core resource. It examines the country’s attempt to reconnect the oil industry business with development through the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Design/methodology/approach – This paper primarily examines the attempt to re-orient the oil industry in Nigeria through the Nigerian PIB. It adopts a conceptual approach analyzing the current debates and delays surrounding the bill in line with themes of human development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). It therefore examines and questions the linkages between business, development, law and governance. Findings – The main findings suggest that development is best viewed in context of the needs of the relevant country and therefore if corporations through CSR are to engage more meaningfully with the developmental agenda then it must move beyond ‘‘self-interested’’ models of CSR and engage meaningfully and fairly with facilitative frameworks in the ‘‘local’’ contexts, including the use of law. Originality/value – This paper is an exploratory discussion that examines the potential and limitations of linking business to development agendas in an ongoing context. This is because the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Bill, originally drafted in 2008, has not yet passed into law at the end of 2011. This is the result of delays and uncertainty, which is costing the industry and the country significantly at a time when the developmental needs are paramount.
- Corporate social responsibility
- Economic development
- Oil industry
- Petroleum Industry Bill
- Corporate governance