...Restates Commitment to giving back to the society
In recognition of its laudable CSR initiatives aimed at improving the standard and quality of education in Nigeria, leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, has been adjudged the Best Company in Education CSR by SERAs (Social Enterprise Report Awards) at its 2014 Awards ceremony.
The award presentation to Airtel took place at the 8th edition of SERA which held recently at the Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos. The SERA awards also known as the Nigeria CSR Awards, is one of Nigeria’s highly acclaimed awards recognized by Industry experts. Other nominees for the awards category include Samsung, Etisalat and Oando.
In a citation by the organizers, Airtel’s Adopt-a-School programme and the Bridge IT project were described as some of the key initiatives of the Telco which have contributed to the development of education in the country.
While receiving the awards, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, explained that the Telco places high priority on its CSR programmes which cut across critical areas of societal needs such as education, youth empowerment among many other initiatives. He also commended the commitment and sacrifices of all staff of the company which he said had been pivotal to the successes of the company’s CSR efforts, adding that the company would not relent in its drive towards an improved society.
In his words, Ogunsanya said: “At Airtel we place strong emphasis on giving back to the society because we know that government alone cannot continue to shoulder the huge responsibilities. For this reason we prioritize our CSR focus on developing education, health, environment and sports as well as empowering youths in Nigeria.”
Mr. Ogunsanya further commended the organizers of the award for identifying the Telco’s CSR efforts which makes the company exemplary.
Airtel’s Director, Legal & Company Secretary, Gbenga Rotimi; Director Enterprise Business, Tawa Bolarin; Regional Operations Director, Lagos, Femi Oshinlaja; Head of Public Relations, Adefemi Adeniran and CSR Manager, Chinda Manjor were also present at the event.
Through its Adopt-a-School Initiative, Airtel Nigeria has contributed immensely towards improving education within communities in Nigeria. Under the programme, the Telco collaborates with State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) in various states to provide primary school pupils in under-served communities with educational materials such as note books, uniforms, classroom furniture and borehole for potable water.
As part of this initiative, new blocks of classrooms have also been built to replace dilapidated structures in some schools across Nigeria, while the teachers receive periodic training as part of efforts aimed at improving teaching quality and standards. The schools which are currently benefitting from this initiative are Oremeji Primary School II, Ajegunle, Lagos; St. John Primary School, Oke-Agbo, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State; Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross River and Community Primary School, Amumara, Imo State.
Airtel also recently conducted free eye-screening for teachers and pupils of these schools, and those who required corrective glasses were provided with eye-glasses to improve their sight.
In addition, Airtel in 2011 partnered with Nokia and Pearson to create the Bridge IT project, which empowers teachers across Lagos State to adopt innovative and effective teaching practices through the use of mobile technology and student-focused pedagogy. A total of 132 primary schools in Lagos have so far benefitted from this project.
The Telco also caters for various primary schools across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria through the Goal-for-Education scheme. The scheme involves giving the participating teams in the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 grassroot football tournament, aggregated monetary value for the number of goals scored during regular match time. After the competition, the teams are encouraged to donate the money to schools in their home states.
Chief Responsibility Officer and Founder of SERAs Awards, Mr. Ken Egbas maintains that “the annual ceremony has grown to become the epicenter of the corporate social responsibility industry in Nigeria and recognizes the contributions of socially responsible corporate organizations in Nigeria.”
A Social Enterprise Report - compendium of best practices in CSR and Sustainability was also launched at the event.