By Chioma Gabriel
In furtherance its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in Nigeria, the Chinese Consulate in Lagos has donated a state-of-the-art borehole to the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.
The project, which was executed under the framework of ‘China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action’, was handed over to the university authorities by the Consul General of China (CGC) in Lagos, His Excellency, Mr. Chao Xiaoliang at a ceremony yesterday.
According to the Consul General, the project, which is located within the Faculty of Education, was meant to enhance water supply on campus and make the university environment more conducive for teaching and learning.
Xiaoliang explained that the ‘China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action’ is aimed at fostering better relations between Chinese companies and their host countries.
He noted that the Chinese Consulate General in Lagos began operation 34 years ago and has been paying attention to public sector needs as its CSR in Nigeria.
He said: “CGC began operation in Nigeria 34 years ago, that is 1983. Ever since then, we rapidly grew into business including consultancy, investment, infrastructure, logistics and trading with its footprint across the world.
“We pay a lot of attention on public activities as our CSR in Nigeria such as yearly donation of material and food, combating flood and disaster, supporting development of communities in several states in Nigeria.
“We decided to donate this borehole as soon as we realised that lack of portable water in the campus of UNILAG. Now, we fulfill this CSR by completing this project with good quality. We hope it will be an effective way to abate the shortage of portable water here.”
Xiaoliang pledged that the Consulate would continue to identify with the development t of the university. “We hope to learn from your successful experience and strengthen cooperation with you, and also take part in the development of this university together with you, because we believe that friendship and cooperation will empower development,” he added.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of the ‘China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action’ plaque to the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Rahamon A. Bello, who was physically present to receive it.
In his response, Bello appreciated the Consulate for selecting the institution to benefit from its CSR programme, assuring that the university would make good use of the facility.
He, however, stressed that the infrastructural needs of the university were largely unsatisfied and appealed to other consulates and corporate organisations in the country to emulate the Chinese Consulate General in Lagos and come to the aid of the institution, adding that government cannot do it alone.
It could be recalled that the Consulate had donated household appliances to the Isolo SOS International Children Village in 2013; renovated Eti-Osa Itedo Primary School in 2014; and rehabilitated a block of six classrooms at Satellite Junior Secondary School, Satellite Town, Lagos in 2015, among others.