Nigeria’s renowned engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has donated a fully functional office and secretariat to the Nigerian Business Coalition against HIV-Aids (NIBUCAA), in Abuja.
Also, the company has launched a dedicated website, www.second-river-niger-bridge.com for the Second River Niger Bridge project. The objective of the website is to make project progress visible to the general public, said the company’s statement.
On the Abuja office, Julius Berger said the donation was a worthy and commendable show of its commitment to its corporate social responsibility to citizens and society, with regard to the health and safety of workers both in its employ and across the country.
In a keynote address at the ceremony where the Executive Management of Julius Berger handed over the new Secretariat to NIBUCAA in Abuja, the Chairman, Executive Committee of NIBUCAA, Dr. Musa Shaibu of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated that since 2003, NIBUCAA has passionately galvanised the private sector initiative and executed HIV-Aids and related mitigation programmes for the workplace, as well as for communities. Relevant assistance by these services, he said, had been provided and made available to citizens at zero cost to them.
According to Dr Musa Shaibu, “…of the estimated 193 million people that make up the Nigerian population, about 1.9million now live with HIV according to the Nigeria HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) Repoert published in March 2019. The statistics meant Nigeria dropped to fourth on the global HIV prevalence rankings.” Dr Shaibu said the situation calls for aggregation of more resources to further influence the drop of the country’s HIV prevalence rate which currently stands at 1.4%.
The new Abuja Office of NIBUCAA situated at Utako district of the FCT, is planned to be a reach out secretariat from where NIBUCAA will extend its HIV & AIDS and associated diseases enlightenment programmes and assistance to communities, adolescent youth population and workplace settings within the northern states. Dr Shaibu said: “We will ensure that the services we have been providing through our Lagos office (also provided by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc) are replicated here in our new Abuja office and this shall include HIV Testing services (HTS). We must work collectively and aggressively for the overall well-being of the country. We cannot leave it to the government alone.”
The Managing Director of Julius Berger, Dr. Lars Richter, was represented by the company’s Executive Director of Administration, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi. In the company’s delegation at the ceremony was also the Executive Director, Corporate Development, Mr. Tobias Meletschus. The coordinator, human resources department, Mr. Moses Anite, the Head of Media Relations Office, Prince M. Duku, and the head of Corporate Communications Department, Mr. James Agama, accompanied the Julius Berger executive management to the event in Abuja. Others in attendance were officials of the Julius Berger Workers’ Union, including the National Secretary, Comrade Olufemi Edema and the Abuja FCT Union Chairman, Comrade Otis A. Sule.
Speaking at the occasion, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi expressed the commitment of Julius Berger to continue to proactively meet and deliver its corporate social responsibility obligations to the well-being of citizens and the country. Bayi, who emphasized that Julius Berger placed the highest value on the health and safety of its premium workforce, said the donation of the Abuja secretariat to NIBUCAA was an active promotion of Julius Berger’s continuing efforts to increasingly sustain workers’ and citizens’ health and well-being in Nigeria. He prayed that NIBUCAA would put the new office to functional and successful use for the furtherance of the worthy NIBUCA initiative. Alhaji Bayi pledged that Julius Berger, within available means, would always meet its CSR obligations and support NIBUCAA as much as it could. He invited all members of the organised private sector to support NIBUCAA’s work in order to entrench an AIDS-free society, a healthy population and engender all-round development for Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), last month in Abuja, presented an award to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, for the company’s excellent staff welfare records and consistent contribution to the country’s Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS).
The Co-Chair of NIBUCAA’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Nicolas Terraz, the CEOs of Access Bank Plc., and Total E&P Nigeria Limited respectively, was represented at the memorable ceremony by Mr. Vincent Nnadi, the Executive General Manager of Total. Its acting Director-General, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi, represented the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) at the event. Ibilola Olayinka represented the UN (UNICEF), while Jodi-Kaye Wade represented the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Second Niger Bridge Project
Meanwhile, on Julius Berger Nigeria Plc’s website, “Visitors to the site will have access to visually driven content mainly photos and videos reflecting the actual status of construction works along with key facts and regularly updated data relevant to project progress.
“The Second Niger Bridge is a Federal Government Project that is being managed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in collaboration with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority. It will bring great relief to the many commuters who currently use the over 50 year old existing bridge. It will also link the great markets of Onitsha and Aba, as well as the industrial hub of Nnewi and beyond, to both the Northern and Southern parts of the country.”
Upon completion, the project will reduce strain on the current bridge, ease traffic flow, create opportunities for local residents, improve commercial viability of the immediate area and regenerate economic life. The project is expected to be completed by February 2022.
The scope of works includes the construction of 1.6 km long bridge, 10.3 km Highway, Owerri interchange and a toll station.