…Head Teacher: My Pupils are happier and can learn better now!***
The water freely gushed, the Head Teacher of the Baptist Primary School, Marine Beach, Mrs. Eke Justina Chinaza smiles happily as an elated Community Baale, Joseph Ogunmola commissioned a noteworthy project, financed and delivered by LTT Coastal and Marine Services Ltd, Grade A company, domiciled at the Apapa Dockyard, in Lagos.
To the audience, the event was merely a commissioning of rehabilitated, reconstructed and delivered borehole and several units of toilets, alongside state of the art sanitary. But to the pupils and teachers of the Government School, it was worth far more than gold! It was the best gift any corporate organization could offer them.
An elected Local Government Icon, Emmanuel Babatunde Oputa, an Igbo politician told the flowing story, very succinctly. He was born and brought up in the Lagos ward neighbourhood. He schooled there, contested and won his election there.
He thought all was well with his neighbourhood, until one remarkable day months back, this year; he visited the Baptist Primary School in Marine Beach as part of his oversight functions. There he watched a little girl pressed by nature, who ran out of her classroom, frantically looking for where to defecate!
Sadly, there was no toilet to ease! The toilets were locked up and keyed.
She tried going towards a nearby house, failed the attempt; and having no other options, quickly removed her uniforms and defecated right there on the field, in public glare!
She was sorry, and incoherently apologetic. The truth however, was, many of them publicly defecated! They littered the entire environment; and the school paid in pungent nasty smells, huge green flies and pupils’ poor concentration!
If seeing is believing, then Oputa was understandably disturbed. How could either the children or their teachers be blamed for failing to put in their best, or be accused of any serious under performance in situations like such?
A week later, armed with hundreds of letters soliciting for help, Oputa began a frustrating journey of knocking on one Company’s door, after another.
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“It was frustrating”, he told Maritime First, expressing sincere appreciation to his wife, who kept encouraging him, until he actually arrived at the LTT Coastal and Marine Services Ltd, where he met the Company Human Resources Manager, Mrs. Theodora Nwaeze, who echoed his needs and prayers to the management, which also met the listening ears of kind-hearted General Manager, Kalusky Yechiel Hilik.
Speaking at the Commissioning, the Head Teacher emphasized that few things could erode anyone’s confidence faster than a child pressed to defecate in most inauspicious places! She also noted that any teacher suffering the inconvenience of such hidden embarrassment may also, not likely be able to give his best! She pleaded with Corporate organizations to emulate the LTT Coastal & Marine Services, by coming to Government’s assistance in such vital areas, stressing that Government alone cannot do everything in the present economic situation!
An appreciative community turned up in large numbers for the project commissioning. The Chairman of ward ‘F’ Leaders Forum , Kayode Osewere, was present, alongside the Ward Secretary, Felix Ozochidobe, Mr Mufutau Bello, Mrs. Irene Udoh, Alhaji Ibrahim, and Chief Adebowale Johnson.
Also present were key community leaders, which included Sunday Ileleji; the Vice Chairman Iganmu Apapa LG. Hon Kelvin Oluwaseun Gabriel; the Education Secretary, Mrs. Olabepo Fausiyat Oluwatoyin who was represented by Mr. Ojekunle Samuel; the Head of Planning Research and Statistic, Mrs. Agunloye Folashade; the Assistant Head, Social Mobilization, Mrs. Adeniji Foluke; a House Leader, Fourth legislative Council, Apapa LCDA – Hon Funmilayo Olanihun, so also, the SLG, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Hon. Wasiu Yusuf.
The Baale of Marine Beach, Joseph Ogunmola doubled as the Royal father of the day, the Executive Chairman, Apapa LCDA, Hon. Dr. Funmilayo Akande Mohammed was ably represented. But Senatorial Leaders, Alhaji Morufu Bademosi Ojora, Chief Hon Christopher Arago and Mrs Ayo Ibrahim were there; just as the Vice Chairman, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Hon. Hakeem Balogun, a Supervisor for education was present.
The Head Teacher, Baptist Primary School, Mrs. Eke Justina Chinaza was flanked by the Assist Head Teacher, Mrs. Oluwole Florence, and others which included Home Economics Centre Head, Mrs. Oyetade Florence Oyeladun
When the Community Baale stood up to talk, he simply could not thank the LTT Coastal and Marine Services long enough, as he pleaded that the Company should adopt the school, so that the pupils could mentally and psychologically be freed of such challenges in future.
Where the Baale left off, the leader of the Hausa people took over, even as the leader of the Igbo people in the area also stressed his satisfaction, that the teachers and pupils were so observable motivated!
Hon. Oputa didn’t say much: he showed his gratitude to all that came by dancing, and praising God, the Government, the people that elected him; and particularly, the LTT Coastal and Marine Services for making him proud! The present gesture, according to him, was all he needed to further saunter more confidently into the city, to solicit more succour, to the people!
Speaking towards the end of the ceremony, the Company management expressed satisfaction that God granted the Company, the unique privilege of being able to help the people, particularly the innocent children with highly promising future. They also pledged to regularly come back to ensure that the facilities continue to work!
Then, the Baale stood up, followed by the elated crowd of Local Government officials and the school staff for the most important task of the day: to Commission and hand over the project! The excited pupils hailed, the teachers clapped, the crowd sang, the tapes were cut, the taps were turned… and waters forcefully gushed out…!
To the students and teachers, a new era of more comfortable learning had begun for the Baptist Primary School. Ironically, for the Management team of LTT Coastal and Marine Services Ltd, it was just one more Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) delivered, a gesture and a hobby they regularly performed, in their day to day focused mandate, of silently touching lives!