Pursuant to its corporate social responsibility, the Sierra Leone National Petroleum Company (NP) yesterday commissioned a six-classroom block at the Murray Town Army Junior Secondary School.
Speaking at the ceremony, the managing director of NP, Mohamed Babatunde Cole said, “NP has over the years confronted with various developmental issues through very important but one cannot at this time or any other time point at them and confidently say that these were contributions made by NP to the socio-economic development of this country.”
The managing director further stated that in sports, NP partly sponsored the amateur boxing association team’s participation in the championship boxing competition in The Gambia and emphasized that, “they brought laurels to the country as all six boxers who represented Sierra Leone won medals (two gold, one silver and three bronze) but were hardly noticed by even the populace.”
Commenting on other areas NP had constantly donated to he highlighted the Home of the Aged, School for the Blind, the Missionary of Charities and to numerous other areas like education and social development.
On the recent past, the managing director affirmed they had redirected their focus from donation, sponsorship and contribution to tangible projects which they thought necessary and based on the situation being presented.
On education, Mr Cole stated that, “we had refurbished the canteen of the Milton Margai College of Education,” after his organisation was approached by the students’ union body, while on the environment he said, “we had responded to the call for concern over our environmental degradation and deforestation and in collaboration with the ministry of Agriculture, we single handedly embarked on a tree planting exercise of ten million fast growing trees around the hills overlooking the Guma as a support to ‘plant tike for mor water’ project.”
Focusing on the day’s activity, Mr Cole told his audience that, “in continuation of our newly focused… the construction of a six-classroom block at the Murray Town Junior Secondary School was identified through the unrelentless search by the very dynamic principal and it is now a reality.’
Our intention here, he noted, “is to provide total and long lasting benefit to the society and these classrooms will always be available to serve the present pupils and future pupils yet to come”, observing that, “we are very happy that the greatest beneficiary to this project would be the children of the people who are serving in the military which happens to be one of our valued and oldest customers.”
The managing director assured all that NP was not only aware of its social corporate responsibilities but fully committed to it as they would continue to support developmental projects that were tangible and meet the needs of the beneficiaries.
In his speech the acting Mayor, Herbert Williams noted that, “ we hope that this pace set by the National Petroleum will be the starting point for other well meaning institutions to collaborate with both the central and local government by contributing to learning by donating more classroom blocks thereby reducing the number of afternoon shift schools in the municipality.”
The six-classroom block was officially opened and commissioned by the NP’s Board chairman Michael A. Carroll, as the school will celebrate its second anniversary next week.
The principal, Haja Isha Thomas, moved the vote of thanks whereby she showered praises on NP for completion of the project within three months, and revealed that the classroom were deliberately designed to serve as a hall when the need arose.
She revealed that the school’s present roll stood at 676 and that the pupils were coming from Murray Town, Lumley, Dwazark and up to Calaba Town with 26 trained and qualified teachers, and they operates on a two shift system.