Leading Telecommunications Services provider, Airtel Nigeria’s active role in the development of education in the country has earned it honour at a Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for Excellence ceremony in Lagos, yesterday, August 18, 2011.
Airtel was honoured for its role in uplifting under-privileged children and partnering government to deliver quality education to young Nigerians, according to the organisers of the awards, AS+A Communications.
The Managing Director of AS+A Communications, Mrs. Adenike Shobajo, said Airtel took definitive steps some months ago to partner with government when it launched its Adopt-a-School programme, an initiative that focuses on providing quality education to underprivileged children.
She explained that the company has also adopted Oremeji Primary School 2 in Ajegunle, a move that led to the rebuilding of the once dilapidated school. “Airtel has done extremely well in the area of education and have also taken some bold steps to give back to the Nigerian society. They really deserve to be commended for their fine works,” she said.
In his response, the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava thanked the organizers for bestowing such a great honour on Airtel Nigeria just as he assured that the company is fully committed to supporting under privileged kids especially the girl child.
Srivastava who also made a presentation on Airtel’s Role in championing Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria hinted that the Airtel Adopt-a-School programme is different in a lot of ways.
“When we adopt a school, it’s like adopting a child. When parents adopt children, they take full responsibility for raising those children. So, we do not just rebuild schools or re-habilitate them and then, walk away.
“We take our time to look after the school while taking full responsibility for items like text books, school uniforms, sandals, bags, school library and writing materials among others. We have done this in our pilot programme with Oremeji Primary School 2 and we hope to replicate this model in other parts of the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria America Chamber of Commerce, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa spoke on the theme: Legislating Corporate Social Responsibility.
Addressing the issue of whether government should legislate CSR or not, Ohuabunwa submitted: “I am therefore firm in my conviction that we must continue to promote the mutual benefit of CSR between companies and the society. The Government intervention is required in creating motivation and incentives that will make the companies able to voluntarily undertake more Corporate Social Responsibilities. Legislative compulsion is therefore not indicated.
The event, which was held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry attracted several Public Relations practitioners and CSR experts.