Airtel Nigeria says education and health sectors will be granted more focus in the new season of ‘Airtel Touching Lives’, its community social responsibility (CSR) projects.
The telecom company has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering and uplifting vulnerable people, building communities and creating value for all its stakeholders as it announces the commencement of the sixth edition of its flagship CSR intervention, ‘Airtel Touching Lives 6’
The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya announced this at a media parley in Lagos, on Wednesday.
He noted that ‘Airtel Touching Lives’, which is in its sixth season, will provide support for the disadvantaged and underprivileged across various communities in the country.
Ogunsanya said the CSR projects are implemented to sustain the “social licence” granted by communities where Airtel Nigeria operates.
“In 2001, Airtel procured operating licence in Nigeria. In 2021, we have renewed that operating licence for another 10-year period. While it is possible to procure and renew an operating licence, you can only earn a social licence. It is issued by the various communities where you operate,” he said.
Ogunsanya, who was recently appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, described ‘Airtel Touching Lives’ as one of his proud legacies which will be sustained.
He said the CSR projects are reminders that “the rich has an obligation to support the poor and the strong supporting the weak”.
The company’s MD said the current season will prioritise providing support in the areas of health, education and poverty alleviation.
“In the first edition of ‘Airtel Touching Lives’, we refurbished a library, rehabilitated an IDP camp in north-east, set up small scale companies, paid medical bills, and even flew someone abroad for treatment,” he said.
“In the last 16 months, our lives have changed dramatically with COVID-19. In the current season six, we are going to pay attention to COVID-19. We will also focus on supporting education. We will look out for medically-challenged persons in need of support.
“We will be supporting education, health and a little bit of poverty alleviation. These three pillars will be prioritised when shortlisting projects for this season.
“We are not going to transform lives; we are just touching lives. So, we welcome individuals, corporate bodies who choose to partner us.”
He also noted that the nomination process is simple.
“Once you nominate an individual or cause, our team will review and assess the situation and determine if a follow-up visit will be required,” Ogunsanya said.
In her remarks, Chioma Okolie, head of CSR at Airtel Nigeria, said channels for nominating individuals or groups in need of support will be through text message and email.
She said members of the public can nominate individuals or projects in their communities by dialling 367 or by sending an SMS to the shortcode, 367.