From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
The management of a prominent South African company network business, Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) has revealed that in the past few years the company has impacted development in 510 communities across 454 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.
This was revealed at the weekend in Port Harcourt, during the presentation of awards and appreciation dinner to nominators for communities’ development in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo and Rivers state.
In his welcome address, Innocent Entonu, General Manager of MTN for the Eastern Region, at the appreciation event for nominators of ‘What Can We Do Together’ Initiative Phase 3, commended the 110 nominators who made the bold steps in nominating the projects delivered by MTN Nigeria PLC and the MTN Nigeria Foundation, as part of its corporate social responsibility.
He noted that the nominations led to the provision of learning materials for school children, medical equipment installed in healthcare centres; and solar-powered boreholes also installed in communities where they had no water.
Entonu said ‘We are here to celebrate some women and men who chose to step out of their comfort zones and in their own little way, take action to transform their communities for the better.
‘I am sure you must have heard the saying – a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. But how many of us are ready to take that step forward when they need to?
‘Well, we have 110 Nigerians who did exactly that. They took a step forward, took action and partnered with us to bring about change to their world. Today, their communities are better for it.
‘Because of them, school children have learning materials, medical equipment has been installed in healthcare centres; and solar-powered boreholes have been installed in communities where they had no water’.
Also speaking at the event, MTN Foundation Director, Reginald Okeya, expressed joy that people are still eager to impact positive changes and development in communities, adding that MTN Foundation is always ready to be part of community transformation.
He noted that the company has recently influenced the transformation of 510 communities across the country.
He said ‘Tonight we celebrate people who made a difference in their communities. People who decided to make lives in their communities brighter, by partnering with us. The MTN Foundation is pleased to be a part of this process; it has been an honour working with these wonderful men and women who have contributed to improving the quality of life in their communities.
‘People like Obigha Smart who facilitated the provision of school learning materials in Ajakurama community of Ovia South West LGA in Edo State; or Temaso Benjamin who nominated a health centre in Okochiri community of Okrika LGA in Rivers State to receive health equipment and supplies, and Joseph Emetu, who facilitated the installation of a solar-powered borehole in the Umuchieze Community, Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo state.
‘These people are what kids of today like to call the real MVP’s. All 110 nominators, made the bold decision to make a lasting, positive impact by partnering with the MTN Foundation.
‘Under the phases 1 and 2 of the What Can We Do Together initiative, various interventions were implemented in 400 communities across the country. In phase 3, another 110 communities across the country have been impacted. This means that so far a total of 510 communities across 454 local governments have been transformed’.
He commended MTN customers for making the projects achievable through their daily subscription.
‘While we are proud of what we have achieved so far, we are very aware that none of this would have been possible without our customers who continue to patronize our business through thick and thin. Each and every one of you share in all the credit that MTN Foundation receives today, and we say thank you very much’.
Some of the nominators that spoke with The AUTHORITY at the programme, expressed gratitude for the MTN commitment in the projects.
Hon Temaso Sekibo Benjamin, chairman, Central Community Development Committee (CDC) of Okrika Local Government Area, said ‘I nominated healthcare facilities to Okochiri kingdom Health Centre in Okrika LGA
‘Is a big thanks to MTN because the healthcare facility that has been donated to that community health centre, the medical doctor there said there is no such equipments within Rivers state, that they are so happy. Also the chiefs and the community people are happy with MTN’.
For Ifeyinwa Chima Eze, a native of Adazi Nnukwu in Anaocha LGA of Anambra state “The school I nominated is Union Primary School Adazi Nnukwu. Is actually my Ama mata. That is where I started from and each time I go to my community, I visit the school, I saw the need for this project so when the opportunity came for me to do this nomination, I quickly nominated the school for renovation.”
Doris Chizaram Obi, ‘I nominated my host community in Abia state, though a native of Anambra state I was moved to nominate Eziukwu community because is my host community they have done alot for me.
“Living in the community I have noticed that the Primary Healthcare Centre is in a dilapidated state and not functioning. So when I got the text massage from MTN What Can We Do Together, I quickly nominated the healthcare centre.
“I was very happy to be selected because many people also did same and were not selected. The project was carried out and the community is very happy. Each time they see me, the kids hugs me, the elderly people are very happy and I give all glory to God.”