Believe in Better
Our Believe in Better programme 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 programmes that are articulated in the Resettlement Action Plan, Livelihood Restoration Plan and Community Investment Plan.
However beyond these obligations, Azura is also helping to find practical, and long lasting, solutions for social causes that are close to the heart of the communities in which we live and work; to Azura as a company; and to its employees.
What do we want to achieve?
The overall objective of the Believe in Better (“BiB”) 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 and where we believe that we can make a positive difference to the lives of ordinary people.
(ii) Initiatives must (eventually) provide a tangible and 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. Hence, the BiB programme is managed and directed by Azura’s employees.
What projects are we supporting?
A Believe in Better Committee (“BiBC”), consisting of a cross section of people from Azura, has been set up to to identify, assess and monitor the progress of selected projects in the following areas: health, education, basic infrastructure and environment, pro-bono support for start ups and SMEs, and arts, sports and culture. Several projects are already underway; and we are conducting feasibility studies on other possible projects.
PROVIDING SOLAR FOR AN ORPHANAGE, Borno State
The North East Children’s Trust (“NECT”) was formed in December 2016 to establish at least ten Integrated Learning Centres that would provide comprehensive support to orphans in the North East of Nigeria. The Learning Centres are no ordinary buildings – they are homes of hope; to heal, to educate, to empower, and to refine the next generation of leaders from the region and for the region.
We are supporting NECT's first learning centre facility in Maiduguri which will 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 panels and equipment, funded by Azura, are already providing electricity to a vocational centre and administration block, and are 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.
HELPING DEVELOP UNDER-PRIVILEGED CHILDREN THROUGH SPORT
Azura is providing support to under-privileged children through a football-for-developmental programme, 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.
YEDI has reached 127,000 children across four states and in over 500 schools and community sites in Nigeria, with evidence-based programs designed to facilitate young people's access to health services and promote their adherence towards healthier behaviours.
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.
SUPPORTING THE PROTECTION OF THE GASHAKA NATIONAL PARK
Azura is supporting Africa Nature Investors, a non-profit foundation set up and led by African professionals committed to bringing best-practice nature conservation to Africa.
ANI's major flagship project aims to protect the Gashaka Gumti National Park, located in Taraba and Adamawa States. Gashaka is the largest national park in West Africa with the tallest mountain in Nigeria, spectacular montane rainforests, the largest populations of chimpanzees in West Africa, and the source of the river Benue supporting the livelihoods of over 10 million people.
Our funds will contribute towards educating and training the rangers, providing basic infrastructure to the park (road and logistics base) and conducting livelihood restoration programmes with the local communities. Through these and other activities led by ANI, we intend to preserve the integrity of this watershed which is fundamental to the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians who depend directly on the health of the Benue river for their livelihoods.