Thursday, 26th May 2022
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A day of honour for community heroes

The prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja was alive recently, as MTN Foundation hosted a special appreciation party for all individuals that nominated ...
Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola (left); Director, MTN Foundation, Col. Sani Bello; Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; Nominator, Mr. Salihu Abubakar and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, at the event.

Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola (left); Director, MTN Foundation, Col. Sani Bello; Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; Nominator, Mr. Salihu Abubakar and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, at the event.

The prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja was alive recently, as MTN Foundation hosted a special appreciation party for all individuals that nominated their communities in the phase one of the foundation’s CSR initiative tagged What Can We Do Together Campaign.

As expected, the atmosphere was charged with a lot of pageantries. Already seated were dignitaries from across country, who witnessed the gallant entry of the heroes and heroines that brought developement in their communities.

In her opening remark, which set the tone for the event, Amina Oyagbola, Corporate Services Executive, MTN Nigeria said, “Let me join the Chairman in congratulating our nominators for taking the step to make an impact by partnering with MTN to bring sustainable, socio-economic development to their various communities. Through your efforts, many communities have now come alive with the provision of potable water; businesses are active again, thanks to the installation of electricity transformers; students in schools are definitely smiling as they learn in a more conducive atmosphere every day and the less privileged in society gets extra support,” she said, as the nominators were ushered in.

The roaring applause from the crowd simply marked a seal on the declaration that these individuals are true heroes and heroines of their various communities, having demonstrated commitment and foresight in identifying development projects that could enhance the socio-economic well-being of indigenes of their communities.

“When the idea of this initiative was conceived, we wanted to do something refreshingly different for our communities, and attempt to redefine the concept of social giving. The initial goal of this project was to thank Nigerians by implementing 200 projects across 200 communities in 200 local governments across Nigeria. All projects were selected based on nominations from members of the public. At the end, 200 communities were chosen to benefit, and announcements were made in the newspapers and social media. Today, I am pleased to report that all the 200 projects have been successfully implemented,” said Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation.

But for these nominators, the dreams of millions living in the benefited communities may have been dashed or at least still kept in the wonderland.

Relieving the realisation of such dreams, Sadiq Oche a nominator from Abuja still wonders why his community in the old Kuntunkun Compensation layout in Gwagwalada Abuja had to wait for such a long out until he nominated his community.

“A lot of businesses have suffered in the area due to lack of electricity. Residents have long hoped for the installation of a transformer to boost distribution of power and improve the standard of living in the area. But with the electricity transformer provided by the MTN foundation in the #WhatCanWeDotogether initiative. I’m happy to be here with other nominators” Oche said.

While thanking the foundation, an excited Chairman of the residents’ association, Mr. Emmanuel Abbey said, “this is good; it’s a form of social responsibility that will benefit people in our community. Before now, we have written to several quarters for assistance but with very little success. Now, with this donation by the MTN Foundation, we are greatly relieved.”

However, some of the nominators rightly expressed doubt about the genuineness of the project out of a too- good- to- be- true feeling, apparently due to experiences from the past. One of such persons is Mudassir Adam Bello, an indigene of Bakwato community in Dutse local government area of Jigawa State.

When he heard on radio about the initiative, he first expressed doubt, but in his quest for conviction and love for his people, he still went ahead to nominate his community to be provided with water.

“At first, I was not sure of the authenticity; I was in doubt if my application will be granted. But, I just kept hope that something good will come up,” Bello said.

According to Bello, the lack of access to a good water source in his area meant they have to buy water from water hawkers, who fetched water for residents albeit also exposing them to waterborne diseases.

But when his doubt about the initiative was finally laid to rest, Bello excitedly said, “I was thrilled when I received a call from the inspection team. Today, we can boost of pipe borne water that keeps us healthy”.

Okatari Minadum, the nominator of the borehole project in Kolo Community in Bayelsa State may not have expressed as much doubt as Bello; she was determined to search for a way out to the many challenges facing the community. So, instead of expressing doubt, Minadum battled with the challenge of making the right choice of the project she wants executed in her community

“What more can I really say than a big thank you to the MTN Foundation. We saw an announcement on-line and tried to see if it will work for us. I tried and it worked for me.”

She continued: “There was an option to choose pipe borne water, electricity transformer, furniture for schools and renovation of Motherless Babies Homes. I chose the water borehole project because my community needed it. We have few boreholes built by individuals but they sell water to us and sometime we cannot afford it. Now, our mothers will no longer have to buy water for household chores anymore. The water is good for drinking and the whole village is happy,” Minadun said.

The provision of school furniture to ensure students learn under a conducive atmosphere is one of the projects under the MTN Foundation #WhatCanWeDoTogether initiative.

In Ogun State, extreme joy, excitement and gratitude are some of the feelings shown by pupils, parents and teachers of Nawarudeen Primary school Mowe, when they received brand new sets of school desks and chairs from MTN Foundation as part of the Foundation’s what Can we do together initiative.

About 1000 pupils most of who sometimes receive classes and take down notes sitting on the floor, could not contain their joy as they gladly accepted the donated furniture amidst loud celebration and sincere appreciation.

Expressing her sincere gratitude to the Foundation Mrs Akinyemi Patience, Head teacher of the school thanked MTN Foundation for the donation, describing the gesture as a laudable initiative. She added that the provision of chairs and desk came at a time when such facilities were highly needed by the children.

In Phase 1, 200 projects were successfully delivered in 200 communities across 200 Local Government Areas in the 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The projects were in four focus areas of transformer, borehole, school furniture and household item donations to select orphanages. The nomination for phase 2, which started May 12, will focus on transformer, borehole, school furniture and medical supply donations to community health care centres.

That Nigerians nominated their communities in the campaign shows that they care. That the nominators were celebrated further reinforce an appreciation for an initiative that has impacted millions of Nigerians.

“At the MTN foundation, we remain committed to improving the quality of life in our communities. Indeed, since inception, the MTN foundation has invested over N18 billion to execute various projects in 550 locations across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria,” said Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Chairman, MTN Foundation.