The Chairman United Bank for Africa, Mr Tony Elumelu has through the bank’s Foundation constructed a N13 million pedestrian bridge for students of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto saying that the foundation will continue to support the educational pursuit of indigent Nigerian and African youths.
Elumelu noted that education was of primary concern to the bank’s aspect of corporate social responsibility to the society.
The bridge project of 120 x 2 metres length and width, is part of the corporate social responsibilities of the bank to the institution which followed an earlier appeal to Mr Elumelu by the students of the university during a national dialogue series.
Elumelu, a seasoned banker, made the remark in Sokoto Monday at the official commissioning of the project at the university’s permanent site by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who noted that education was capital intensive that required the participation and support of corporate stakeholders to succeed.
Tambuwal represented by Secretary to the State Government, Professor Bashir Garba commended Elumelu and the bank for the gesture in adding value to the institution.
“We as a state are working towards fulfilling our pledge of constructing an engineering department for the University at the cost of N400 million”, he said.
However, Elumelu who spoke through the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr Kennedy Uzoka stressed that the bank would not relent in promoting and strengthening its corporate social responsibilities of giving back to the society.
He said the constructed bridge will further ease the students the trouble of trekking long distance to get to their destination for academic and curricular activities.
” The absence of the bridge have subjected many students to difficulties in getting to their lectures venue and other places within the school on time. We have also built a hall that accommodates 1000 students”, he explained.
Elumelu stressed that, ” we are passionate about giving back to the society through our 3es components; Empowerment, Education and Environment. This is part of of education and environment.”
He explained that the bank was not only looking ahead for profit maximisation but ensure customers satisfaction and giving back to the people through promoting it’s corporate social responsibilities.
” We want to be a role model with uniqueness not by coincidence but by physical commitment and strengthening of our good will in advancing the course of humanity through our foundation”, he said.
According to him ” We have been doing this by sponsoring essay competitions and indigent students to institutions across African countries where we operate.
” Todays event marks a symbolic success and a dream come through to showcase the relevance of the society and institution to our bank.
“For 70 years we have been adding value to customers and society. We believe in meritocracy, industry, entrepreneurship and mentorship of young students to become good ambassadors. Of the country in their endeavours”, he added.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdullahi Zuru noted with pleasure of the philanthropists gesture of Mr Elumelu in building hope and strengthening value adding relationship the institution and especially the youth.
He explained that the edifice commissioned was vital to the day to day movement of students for their daily academic and other extracurricular activities.
Zuru said for the past four decades, the students have not been finding it easy especially during rainy season which often affect their movement through the passage due to the mushy nature of the spot.
“We have reached out to organisations but thank God today UBA has heed to our call. It is now the shortest way for our students particularly now.
“We appreciate Mr Elumelu and UBA family. The edifice which has side lights will serve us in no small way”, he acknowledged.