It was amid pump and pageantry that the renovated blocks of classrooms at Olukeye Primary School were commissioned on Friday, March 25, 2011. The classrooms were renovated by the Nigerian Bottling Company (BNC) as part of its efforts towards fostering development in its host communities.
Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, who was represented at the occasion by the Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr Adesoji Adejumo, commended the NBC for partnering with the state government in the provision of infrastructural facilities in schools.
Apart from the Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, the governor commended other individuals and corporate bodies for their contributions to the development of education in the state.
“At this juncture, I want to express the deep gratitude of the Oyo State Government to the Nigerian Bottling Company board for partnering with us in the provision of infrastructural facilities in our schools by committing substantial amount of money to the renovation of these school buildings as part of its corporate social responsibility.”
While urging the host community, Asejire and the administration of Olukeye Primary School to guard and maintain the facilities “for the sake of future generations,” the governor called on other corporate bodies and individuals to emulate the NBC and partner with the state government to move education forward and provide a child-friendly environment for the students.
Headmistress of Olukeye Primary School, Asejire, Mrs Margaret Olafisoye, who said the commissioning of the renovated blocks was an unforgettable event, expressed appreciation to the Nigerian Bottling Company, adding that she was very happy that such an event took place during her tenure as head in the school.
In her words: “Before, the environment was not conducive for learning but now that NBC has renovated the two blocks of six classrooms, teaching and learning will go on successfully in this school and our pupils will perform better and compete favourably with their peers.”
However, the headmistress disclosed that the school still needed furniture like desks and chairs for the pupils, teacher’s table and chairs and other equipment that would contribute to the success of the pupils.
Baale of Asejire, Alhaji Lateef Bakare, who thanked God for the occasion, said, “I can never forget what the Nigerian Bottling Company has done for us because we have been appealing for the renovation of the school’s blocks for long. Anytime youths of the area came to me to inform me that the roof or another part of the school buildings had collapsed, I always felt very sad but today, I am happy because other schools which thought they were better off now envy us and wondered about the good thing which the Nigerian Bottling Company has brought to our community.”
Chairman of the Parents/Teachers Association in Olukeye Primary School, Mr Mufutau Bakare, who said the renovation would bring about improvement in the school, expressed the belief that it would increase its student population as those who had earlier left because of unconducive environment for learning would come back to the school.
NBC’s Plant Manager, Mr Adetunji Shotunde said the renovation of the blocks was a result of the feedback the company got from the host community and that it became a reality because the NBC is a socially responsible organisation. The Public Relations Manager, Asejire Plant, Mr Akin Osinowo emphasised that it was the duty of NBC to develop its host community and that the renovation would assist in moulding the pupils for a brighter future.
Head, Public Affairs and Communications, Mrs Yanju Olomola, who represented the Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Mr Jim Lafferty, on behalf of the board, expressed happiness at the completion of the project, saying that the NBC, which has a long-standing history in Nigeria, especially in Oyo State, believes in contributing to the development and growth of young ones who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“We believe we can contribute and invest in today for their tomorrow. We have 13 plants and 59 depots all over Nigeria and it is a huge task trying to meet the needs of all the communities but, we believe that we are part and parcel of the communities where we operate and that is why we try to listen to their needs and work towards meeting those needs. Because the needs are many and varied, we focus on major areas of intervention like water, youth development, education and so on.”
Apart from dancing and singing the praise of the Nigerian Bottling Company to show their appreciation, the pupils and teachers of Olukeye Primary School, Asejire, Ibadan, Oyo State prayed for more prosperity for the company.