Fidelity Bank Plc, one of the country’s top 10 lenders in terms of Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) has handed over a renovated, fully furnished block of classrooms to the Management of Obalende Police Children School (PCS), Lagos State. The renovation project, the financial institution said, is a clear demonstration of its unwavering support towards the protection of child rights, particularly as it relates to access to qualitative education. According to the lender, the decision to embark on the project is borne out of a deep-seated realisation that the education remains critical to driving socio-economic development in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

The project was initiated and partly funded by security guards Bank-wide in fulfillment of the objectives of the Fidelity Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) philosophy which rests on a tripod: The Environment, Education and Health. Amidst the country’s harsh economic conditions occasioned by the free-fall in international oil prices, security guards at Fidelity Bank Plc., under the auspices of the Fidelity Helping Hands Program (FHHP) pulled resources – funds, talents and time – together to repair and fully equip the classrooms. To bring the project to fruition, the guards however received additional funding from the bank in consonance with its CSR strategy.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Lagos at the weekend, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, promised to renovate the two buildings beside the renovated block in order to provide a conducive learning environment for children. Alluding to the need for greater private sector participation in the development of Nigeria’s future leaders, Okonkwo announced that the Bank would donate a generating set to power the school’s Computer Laboratory given the nation’s poor electricity supply. He further explained that the renovation project was indeed special as it coincided with Children’s Day celebration.

Through FHHP, the Fidelity boss pointed out that the Bank had commissioned quite a number of such impactful projects across all the geo-political zones. “We strive to reinforce strong, healthy Community Relations by identifying with host communities in activities that are most relevant to them and also strives to play a leading role by identifying with and seeking solutions to the problems of the society”, Okonkwo noted. The Bank Chief Executive stated: “This place was dilapidated. Through the FHHP, the classrooms were renovated. What we do under our CSR programme is to encourage our staff to participate in social responsibility wherever we do business.

“So, staff members in different locations in the country, identify laudable projects and voluntarily contribute money, and then the bank funds the balance”, he further added. In her response, Mrs. Moninuola Gbadegesin, Zonal Head, Police Children School, Lagos & Ogun States, thanked the Bank for the kind gesture, saying that discussion for the renovation commenced just before she assumed the position as the zonal head.