Our Believe in Better program is Azura’s commitment - from all its employees - to help the less fortunate find a better way of living.
Whilst the Azura-Edo power plant will leave a long lasting legacy by providing power to millions of people in Nigeria, the company has obligations to ensure that the local communities affected by the construction of the Azura-Edo IPP are properly looked after. These obligations are fulfilled through programs that are articulated in the Resettlement Action Plan, Livelihood Restoration Plan and Community Investment Plan.
However beyond these obligations, Azura is making it its priority to help find practical and long lasting solutions for social causes those that are close to heart of the communities in which we live and work and to Azura, as a company and to its employees.
What do we want to achieve?
The overall objective of the Believe in Better program is to support important social causes that make a tangible, positive and long term difference to the lives of ordinary people in Nigeria.
The key principles upon which we support such projects or initiatives are
(i) The projects are in areas which Azura has selected as a priority where we believe that we can make a positive difference to the lives of the ordinary people
(ii) Initiatives must (eventually) provide a tangible, sustainable benefit on their own, ideally without long term funding or support from Azura or other parties
(iii) Wherever possible, we should look at how we can best leverage off other projects that are run by people/institutions we trust and/or by working closely with our stakeholders who might have similar ambitions to us
(iv) Whilst projects that are local to Edo State and areas in which our employees live and work will be important, Azura is a Nigerian enterprise selling power to people across the country and hence our support should extend to national causes.
(v) Each project must be ”sponsored” by an Azura ”champion”, who is an employee of the company, and will help ensure that the project achieves its objectives. We encourage everyone in Azura to make an effort to get involved and make a contribution towards improving the lives of the less fortunate and indeed, the BiB program is managed and directed by Azura’s employees.
What projects are we doing or looking at?
Providing solar power for an orphanage in Borno State. We are supporting the North Eastern Children’s Trust who have set up an amazing learning centre facility in Maiduguri to help educate and support over time more than 1,000 orphans who have been displaced from the troubles in Borno State. The 8.6kWp solar equipment, which is already providing electricity to a vocational centre and administration block, is saving the facility substantial money in fuel costs and of course providing consistent and reliable power so that the children can benefit from having access to light and power at all times.
Supporting the protection of the Gashaka National Park, Taraba and Adamawa States through partnering with Africa Nature Investors, a non-profit foundation set up to protect the park. Gashaka is a critical source and watershed of the Benue River, which flows into the Niger river, and is the most important river in West Africa, and third largest in Africa. Preserving the integrity of this watershed is fundamental to the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians who depend directly on the health of the Benue river for their livelihoods. Our funds will contribute towards educating and training the rangers, providing basic infrastructure to the park (road and logistics base) and conducting livelihood restoration programs with the local communities.
Providing healthcare support to those citizens who cannot afford treatment. For example, we have recently joined hands with the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, a well respected NGO, who have decades of proven experience in helping Nigerians in healthcare. One of our projects with them is supporting the treatment of patients at their specialty eye hospital in Abuja and in Edo State as well. This support will provide sight to many hundreds of people who have been previously blinded by curable eye conditions such as cataracts. We have also donated an ambulance and some eye care equipment to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City.
Upgrading of primary school in Edo State. We have just recently completed the upgrade of a block of classrooms and a library at a school in the Idunmwowina community, one of the communities located next to the Azura-Edo IPP.
Other projects that are being considered by BiB include providing support to under-privileged children through a football-for-developmental program, managed by YEDI (Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative), that was developed more than 10 years ago in Southern Africa to reduce HIV prevalence rates and stigma. We are currently undertaking a feasibility study to launch the program in Edo State and are very excited about the prospect of working with YEDI on this initiative.