Ngozi Nwoke, Lagos
The Perfetti Van Melle Group B.V., an Italian global manufacturer of confectionery and gum, has installed a borehole at Agbara Grammar School in Ogun State as part of its local corporate social responsibility.
The Oba of Agbara community, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lukman Jayeola Agunbiade, who commissioned the project on Thursday, December 5, said the school and host community were grateful for and delighted by the donation, the company having provided them with a much needed source of water.
“This is what we really need in the school and community. They are barely six years since inception in the community, but they have been supportive in carrying out various projects in the community… I want to specially thank the Perfetti Van Melle for fulfilling their obligation,” Oba Agunbiade said.
Agunbiade expressed displeasure over other companies coming to exploit the area without making notable efforts at improving their host community.
“It is an obligation of any company operating in the community to carry out at least two projects yearly. It is mandatory that any company, factory, industry or organisation that operates in Agbara community must carry out an infrastructural project. They must provide employment for our indigenes who are qualified for the role,” he said.
“Today, I have commissioned the borehole project by Perfetti; tomorrow I want other companies to renovate the classrooms and build new classrooms for the safety and convenience of the teachers and students. The roads leading to the community are inaccessible and deplorable, yet we have reputable companies operating progressively in our community for over 20 years. It’s not going to be business as usual,” he stated.
The Principal, Agbara Grammar School, Mrs Victoria Adenike Egbamuno, noted that the borehole project will go a long way to improve and enhance the hygiene of the students, saying that the entire community will also benefit from the project.
“I am not the only person excited about the new development, you can see the teachers and students are excited too. That shows we are grateful to the company for their kind gesture. So, we pray that they will have more patronage, more sales and more profits in their business, so that they can continue to do more for us.
“We still need a lot of infrastructural support from them. This is not the first project Perfertti has carried out in the school. They have lived up to expectations by supporting us tremendously, and we appreciate them wholeheatedly,” she said.
The Managing Director, Perfetti Van Melle, Mr Rajiv Das, said that the company has the community’s interest at heart as they have adhered to the MoU between community stakeholders, and assured that they will embark on more projects in the community in order to contribute to the welfare of the indigenes.
“We have been operating in this community for six years now. And it has been our tradition to always carry out a project in every community we operate. So, when we decided to embark on a project, the Oba told us about the water challenge they face and we are glad to fix it with the approval of the Oba and the community,” he disclosed.
“We are here for the future of Agbara community. The land has been favourable to the progress of our business, the indigenes have shown us cooperation; therefore, the least we can do is to support them in any way we can. Yes, we will embark on more projects, and we want to focus only on our host community for now,” he Mr Das stated.