Tuesday, 17 March 2009
BY GREGORY AUSTIN NWAKUNOR
BANK staffers are on the loose. Once, they were all confined to the office, counting or keeping money, now they are roaming free — not aimlessly — with a vision to make a difference.
Last weekend, staffers of Bank PHB gathered for the launch of the Bank’s Employees Volunteers Programme. Not the Bob-A-Job. They were everywhere cleaning and making impact with monies from their pockets.
Ig Ukpaka, an executive director of the bank, aided by the chairmen of Eti-Osa Local Council and Iru/Victoria Island Local Council Deve,lopment Area flagged off the event.
After Ukpaka’s speech, the volunteer groups — seven in all — gathered at the bank’s office from where they moved to various part of the city to carry out various community development programmes.
Simultaneously, all over the country, various staff of the bank were moving from their offices to different parts of their state to carry out agreed community development programmes: cleaning the streets, planting trees or teaching at the Bank’s National Scholars’ Scheme schools and other adopted schools.
One of the teams, V2, as the team calls itself, immediately moved to its adopted school, Methodist Boys High School (MBHS), Victoria Island, which the team has been supporting in the last one month.
Since January, it has been sponsoring extra mural classes for final year students of MBHS. It engaged part time teachers to take the students extra lectures in key subjects as they prepare for their school certificate and university matriculation examinations.
The principal said due to the support of V2, has been able to provide lunch for the few day students in the school so that they will be able to stay all day in school to be part of the extra mural classes.
Also on Sanusi Fafunwa Street of Victoria Island, another group of staff volunteers, Planet Volunteers, kept the street sparkling with their paint.
At the Ojota branch of the bank, staffers had taken on the responsibility of cleaning up the gutters, sidewalks and motor park within Ojota and Oregun Bus stop.
In Katsina, another group was at the Central Market to clean up the place to the amazement of Katsina residents who were at the market. The same thing happened in Jigawa, where volunteers carried out a sanitation exercise at the Hadejia Old Motor Park.
The volunteer scheme is purely a staff initiative to make give Bank PHB staff a platform to make a difference in their immediate community. It is not funded by the bank, rather staff contribute their own money and decide on which community development initiative they want to undertake.