In demonstration of its support for educational development in the country with emphasis on supporting enrolment and retention in public primary school, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited has donated school kits containing educational materials to 5,000 pupils under its Back To School Initiative across different public primary schools in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Onitsha, Okigwe and Asejire.
Speaking at one of the presentation events in Alaba Primary School, Mushin, Lagos, the Managing Director, Ben Langat, represented by the Country Chief Security Officer, Van Wilberding said "the move is aimed at supporting parents and guardians in relieving financial burden as their children and wards return to school for a fresh academic session and further encouraging enrolment in public primary schools as well as a reduction in out of school rate in primary education across the country.
Sharing her delight at the event, Mrs. Olabisi Ariyo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, represented by Mrs. Omolara Akin-Adekibigbe, Director, Administration and Human Resources, commended the passion of NBC Limited in contributing to the intellectual capacity development of the Nigerian child. She said, "the initiative is in line with efforts at delivering qualitative education to our children, the future of our country and a manifestation of government’s call for private sector involvement in developing key sectors of the economy, particularly Education". She added that, the gesture will go a long way in supporting and motivating the pupils towards academic excellence.
In the same vein, Chief Nzemeka Olisa, Executive Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, who was present during the NBC Back to School event at the United Primary School, Nkpor, Onitsha, said, "I applaud NBC Limited for the initiative, it is a clear demonstration by the
company that educational development cannot be left to the government alone, because of dwindling resources. Other companies and well-meaning individuals are hereby encouraged to emulate the NBC example". Chief Olisa also urged the children to make the best use of the items received from the company, inspiring them to strive for academic excellence at all times.
According to NBC’s Head, Public Affairs and Communications, Uzo Odenigbo, the Back To School Initiative started in 2011 and over the years till date, it has reached over 13,000 pupils in public primary schools. The Initiative instills a sense of pride and confidence in the pupils as they return to school for another academic session. Other strategic educational investment by the company in primary education include the provision and upgrade of infrastructure in public schools, capacity building for teachers and school support initiatives towards the learning and development of the Nigerian child.