Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it spent over N500 million supporting an initiative to get back to school children that were displaced by the Boko Haram sect in Borno State.
Its immediate past Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, disclosed this in a statement sent to THISDAY, by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu.
According to Baru, the NNPC in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, supported the Learning Centre of the North East Children’s Trust (NECT) in Maiduguri, Borno State, three years ago with over N500 million.
He said: “We undertook to support the project with everything related to modern education. These include equipping the laboratories, providing an e-library and a hybrid solar power supply system, vocational training equipment and even constructing e-library and block of classrooms.”
Baru, who visited the facility with his successor, Mallam Melee Kyari, explained it was fulfilling for the NNPC to physically inspect what it had committed such huge financial support in.
“What I have seen today is even worth much more than that. There are more equipment that will be installed. We are happy with what we met on ground and it would spur us to do more,” he stated, while indicating the corporation will continue its support for good causes across the country, especially those aimed at assisting children to become responsible citizens in the future.”
Further justifying NNPC’s N500 million investment in the NECT project, Baru, said the corporation thought it fit to support the project the moment it was approached by the Trust three years ago to lend a hand in the project.
He commended the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for conceiving the project to provide an all-in-one home and school facility for children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency, to reintegrate them into the society.
Baru, also called on Osinbajo to extend the project to other cities affected by the insurgency, to ensure that over 40, 000 registered orphans in Borno and other neighbouring states would be accommodated.
He thanked other donors for their gracious support for the construction of the edifice, and called on the corporate world to lend support to the project.
The statement noted that in his interaction with the children, Baru said all he saw in their young faces was hope and determination to become successful members of the society in the future.
“If you work hard, you could grow and be like me in the future. It is my belief that each and every one of you here will be a future leader,” he reportedly said to the students.
Also in the statement, the Head of Strategy for the NECT, Dupe Killa-Kafidipe, was quoted to have said that the aim of the projects was to give hope to the vulnerable children affected by the insurgency in the north east.
She said the plan of Osinbajo was to build 10 similar centres across the north east, adding that the NNPC and other corporate organisations were key to the accomplishment of the plan.
Killa-Kafidipe, said with the NNPC’s intervention at the centre, many of the students would be better educated than children who went to private schools.
“The NNPC is doing a lot here and we appreciate their efforts to sustain this project,” she said.