The Federal Government on Wednesday appealed to an oil company, Total Upstream, to adopt King’s College, Lagos, as its school for continued assistance, saying that they both represented twin brands of excellence.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, made the appeal at the commissioning and handing over of projects at the annex campus of the college in Victoria Island in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that two of the five projects, comprising a twin lecture theatre and an assembly hall, were renovated and equipped by the company.
NAN also reports that three other facilities, including a bakery, were provided by the College and the Federal Government.
According to the Minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Chief Lambert Oparah, partnering with government in developing public schools in the country would assist in accelerating nation building.
“Let me use this medium to call on other corporate organisations in Nigeria to emulate the good gesture of Total upstream by partnering with government in its bid to develop our public schools.
“This is so because these schools undeniably represent the goose that lay the golden eggs of manpower in Nigeria.
“I am aware that in keeping with the philosophy of collective responsibility in the development of the education sector, and in line with the saying that education for all is the responsibility of all, government alone cannot do it all but rather needs the support of all.
“It is gratifying that Total Upstream, in living up to its corporate social responsibility, decided to undertake the renovation and upgrading of the two structures that were hitherto, in a sorry state,” he said.
The minister noted that the gesture was well appreciated by the Federal Government as it was in tandem with its avowed policy of exploring partnerships and collaborations for the promotion of the Transformation Agenda.
Wike described the quality of job of one of the projects undertaken by the donor partner as world class, adding that the gesture provided the first state-of-the art auditorium in the entire Unity College system.
He urged the management of the college to ensure proper maintenance of the projects.
The Deputy General Manger in-charge of Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs, Total Upstream, Dr Nkoyo Attah, told NAN that the near neighbourhood concept was taken into consideration, for the intervention.
She said that the projects upgraded were borne out of the need to improve teaching and learning.
According to her, sometimes the company uses the facilities in the college but in doing that, they are not happy to
see the state of rot that was begging for urgent attention.
Attah explained that it was on account of this that the company took it upon itself to carry out its social responsibility by way of giving back to the society, especially members of the community, where they operate.
“We felt that a school with such a mega status as King’s College needed nothing short of the best, having produced outstanding citizens that are currently making waves in various sectors of the economy.
“Having said this, I want to say that these projects cost us a total of N150 million and we expect that modalities should be put in place to ensure that they are well taken care of.
“Usually when we carry out projects such as this, we enter into an MoU with the beneficiary, where we tell them what we have put in place and how we want them to maintain it,” she said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Principal of the College, Mr Dele Olapeju, said that the donation had brought a great relief to the institution in terms of the pressing need for more infrastructure.
Olapeju said that the key projects embarked upon by Total Upstream would further boost the performance of the students, as well as that of the teachers.
He said that the a total of 48 projects had been completed and commissioned in the 104-year-old institution in four years.
The Principal said that the latest was a senior staff quarters built by the Federal Government, a College Bakery, a Dining Hall extension, a Junior Staff Quarters and the new JS1 classroom block.
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He assured that adequate measures would be put in place to ensure that the facilities were put to maximum use, as well as ensure adequate protection and maintenance.