By Rukayat Moisemhe
Shoprite, Sterling One Foundation, Wema Bank Plc, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), and the Osteogenesis imperfecta Foundation Nigeria (OIFN) and others have received award of excellence for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions.
Mrs Adenike Shobajo, Managing Director, AS+A Communications, made the presentations at the organisation’s 2022 Public Relations Forum/Awards to commemorate her 70th birthday anniversary on Wednesday in Lagos.
Shobajo said the award of excellence was in recognition of the developmental legacies the corporate organisations had done for the society in areas of health, education, and environment.
She charged businesses operating in the country to embrace CSR for the development of the nation.
“There are influential, well placed and endowed Nigerians like them, who sit in their closets without any care for the underprivileged.
“This event is to encourage them to come out and join us to build a just and egalitarian society.
“The award is in recognition of all the successes they have achieved over the years as a socially responsible corporate and individual personalities for the promotion of commerce and industry, most especially in areas of national development,” she said.
Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, reiterated her focus on contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a way of improving the livelihood of people in underserved communities.
Ibekwe said that the foundation’s focus areas were on education, health, climate action, gender equality and food security.
She said its 2023 focus was to expand education programmes, launch giving impact, train and fund 100,000 youths, plant 10 million economic trees and adopt key primary health centres.
“Through our key partnership programmes, we would be achieving all of the set goals as our give back to the society to drive inclusive growth and development,” she said.
Dr Joseph Onoja, the Director-General of NCF, noted the need to respect mother nature’s demands by embracing the proper usage of land, and drainage systems to advance and sustain the environment.
Onoja noted that there was no need to build along flood planes; areas where water must pass through to salvage lives and properties when nature decides to take its course.
“We must save the planet so that the planet would save us eventually.
“Nigeria must prosper while living in harmony with nature,” he said.
Mrs Tarela Aghanti, the Founder, OIFN, stressed the need for more awareness, support and care for persons with osteogenesis imperfecta also known as brittle bone disease to help them live better lives.
Aghanti, represented by Mrs Dobra Awobokun, a representative of the foundation, noted that early and proper diagnosis could go a long way in helping them live longer lives.
“There’s the need for right medications and expertise to support and provide the treatment and we are committed to going extra miles to ensure that is made available.
“We need government and other persons to understand what the OI means and support by providing better medical facilities to better accommodate the needs of those living with the ailment,” she said.
Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, a lecture at the University of Lagos, emphasised the need to shore up the country’s budgetary allocation to education to at least 15 per cent from the current 6.5 per cent to salvage the future of the youth.
Pearse noted that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation recommends 26 per cent as benchmark for education allocation in the budget of any country.
“Everything you do to the youth is a reflection of you and if you don’t take care of them, you are not taking care of the society.
“Education is the antidote to poverty and I am canvassing for funding to drive good education statistics,” he said. NAN