Coca-Cola Nigeria in partnership with the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is set to embark on a construction and rehabilitation work at the First Baptist Primary School, Ijaye-Oja Ale, Ilogbo, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The project is part of the Coca-Cola Foundation/UNDP New World Program in collaboration with Ogun State Government aimed at providing critical infrastructural development in the school, which was established in 1910 as a missionary school adopted by the First Baptist Church before becoming a publicly owned primary school in the 1970s. Speaking at the foundation-laying ceremony of the project held at the school premises in Abeokuta on Friday, April 20, 2018, the Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Mr. Bhupendra Suri who was represented by the Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola West Africa Business Unit, Mr. Osita Abana disclosed that the project funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and implemented by the Youth Empowerment Foundation would be completed within a duration of six months. Abana explained that the scope of the project would cover the construction of a block of five classrooms, six units of functional gender segregated toilet with water and sanitation facilities; construction of a functional playground; rehabilitation of two units of toilets; and rehabilitation of two units of classrooms. He also noted that the project when completed would provide improved water supply not only to the school but also to the entire Ijaye Oja-Ale Ilogbo Community.
"Beyond this infrastructural development, The Coca-Cola Foundation will also facilitate a capacity building training for the teachers of the school to deploy literacy enhancement programmes targeted at the upper primary section of the school" he said.
Representing Ogun State at the ceremony, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology for Ogun State, Mrs. Modupe Mujota stated that the project would go a long way in improving the quality of education offered to the pupils of the school while also impacting the community positively. Mujota commended Coca-Cola Nigeria and The Coca-Cola Foundation for supporting the effort of the state government in providing a conducive learning environment in schools through the school rehabilitation project. She urged the stakeholders of the school including the teachers, pupils, parents and the old students to take ownership and make good use of the facilities upon completion and ensure adequate security to prevent vandalization and theft.
"Without mincing words, this project is an unprecedented endeavour and a representation of the sincerity of the current state government as regards education. This foundation-laying ceremony marks the culmination of an intricate process of planning, organization and the beginning of another demanding journey-the process of executing and instituting our plans" she noted.
In his own remarks, the chairman, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Olatunji Okewole described the partnership between the board and Coca-Cola Nigeria as a welcome development in terms of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in bridging infrastructure gap in schools. He then thanked Coca-Cola Nigeria for the gesture and urged other corporate organizations to emulate the company by supporting the government in providing adequate infrastructure in schools in the state. He also applauded the School Base Management Committee (SBMC) of the school under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Juwon Labode, the teachers and staff of the school for their unrelenting and unflinching effort towards the actualization of the project.