By Adekunle Aliyu
Calabar – Nigeria’s Leading mobile operator, Airtel Networks Limited, has been commended by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, for adopting a rural primary school in the state.
The Governor, who was speaking, when a team of Airtel executives led by the Managing Director & CEO, Mr. Rajan Swaroop, paid him a courtesy visit in Calabar yesterday, stated that Airtel’s gesture was in line with the state’s vision to provide education to the poorest of the poor in rural communities of the state.
Imoke who was represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Education, Professor Offiong E. Offiong, praised the initiative of Airtel Nigeria to adopt a school in the state unsolicited, which clearly underlines the telco’s commitment to giving back to the community through its visionary Corporate Social responsibility programme.
He explained that indeed latest statistics indicate that about two percent of the state’s population has no access to education, adding that Airtel’s gesture has increased the opportunities available to the people of the state to benefit from modern education in pursuit of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
According to him, the government of Cross River State has embarked on the renovation of schools across the state in order to create the enabling environment for teaching and leading, and so Airtel’s adoption of Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba in Abi Local Government, is a bold and generous step in the right direction to complement government’s effort in this regard.
He expressed the appreciation of the government and people of Cross River State to Airtel for graciously electing to adopt a school in the state, pledging the commitment of his government to ensure that the school is adequately maintained.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Swaroop stated that Airtel is passionate about realizing its corporate vision of being the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians, adding that the company recognizes the fact that the future of the country depends largely on educating the children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
“Airtel is pleased to partner with the Cross State Government to provide educational opportunities for less privileged children. Airtel is in Nigeria to stay and we are totally committed to providing all the required support to enhance the future of this great country,” he said.
Swaroop, who also commended the effort of the Cross State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, for committing to providing a good future for students in the State, explaining that the adoption of the school entails that Airtel will renovate the school buildings and provide furniture, textbooks, uniforms for the pupils and writing materials including white boards as well as sanitary materials required for good hygiene for children.
The Airtel Nigeria team included the Regional Operations Director (South), Mr. Godfrey Efeurhobo; Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Mr. Emeka Oparah; Zonal Business Manager, Ikezu Onyekucha, and the Manager for CSR, Mr. Chinda Manjor.
On the Cross River State Government side were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Anne Odey and the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Joseph Ebam.