By Ediri Ejoh
THE management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, had taken bold step in enhancing educational well being of some institutions under its jurisdiction.
In what appears to be the first of its kind among its peers in the electricity distribution industry, EEDC in partnership with Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, SEOF, donated books and computers worth millions of Dollars to 15 tertiary institutions and 30 secondary schools across the South East of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo State.
According to the organisers, participating states through their respective governments nominated three tertiary institutions and six secondary schools from each state in the South East Zone to benefit from the offer.
Commending the decision of the Disco to partner the Foundation in its aim at improving the education sector within the region, the Coordinator of SEOF, Hon. Tony Obi, said the Foundation has been involved in development of educational institutions across the country over the years.
He, therefore, commended EEDC stressing that the partnership is worthwhile to the society and for posterity.
Delivering his keynote address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, EEDC, Mr. Robert Dickerman, said the gesture is in line with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy of contributing towards the development of its host community.
He explained that the importance of education in today’s society cannot be overemphasized, given the great loads of development that had been achieved over the years by the educated communities or countries. “We know the importance of education, we have an obligation and responsibility to our communities, our business is not just to provide electricity, our job is to help and support the communities which we are a part of.”
He noted that, “Education is part of the development of any society; we are very honoured to be part of this donation and we are committed to take active role in the education development of the 5 states in which we are community member”.
According to Mr Dickerman, my company can besides lighting up homes, companies and industries, equally light up minds.
He further explained that as a demonstration of its believe in lighting up minds, the EEDC entered into the partnership with the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation.
“We believe that the things we are trying to do and the thoughts we have towards supporting social programmes under our CSR initiatives will be best served by partnering with such a Foundation. They have international partners like Book For Africa, BFA, and many others; and we are comfortable partnering with them”.
In his remark, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Beatrice Okonkwo, applauded EEDC and SEOF for this gesture which is a shining example of a CSR act, and welcomed by the state government.
He said that, “government alone cannot accomplish all that is needed in the education sector, and it is usually a great relief when corporate establishments like EEDC come out to boil up the effort of the state government”.
The governor stressed that the use of books cannot be overemphasized and that the donation of the books will go a long way in educating the students, as the more they read, the more they get education.
He said that the books will form the stock in the different libraries of the different beneficiary institutions; and will encourage them to maintain functional libraries.
Governor Obiano also called on teachers and principals to endeavour to get the students develop the habit of reading as a lot of education which they need in life are locked up in these books.
He went on to say that, “this is indeed a partnership for sustainable development between the private sector, our government and the education institutions.” He pledged the state government’s support, and encouraged EEDC not to relent its effort, towards assisting in the development of the people, children and the country at large.”
Both students and teachers of the benefiting schools expressed their appreciation to EEDC and SEOF for this wonderful initiative and promised to make proper use of the books.
EEDC noted that this is not going to be a one-time event, as this effort is part of the organisation’s ongoing responsibility, and hope to continue partnering Sir Emeka Offor Foundation towards the development of the South East.