Metropole Magazine

 
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18 Feb

 

Foreign capital typically finds its place among the most promising market indicators, as transnational investors constantly seek maximum returns on their investments. But for the First Surat Group Company, it is obviously not all about the bottom line. 

The First Surat Group is the parent organisation of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC). These institutions have been operating in Nigeria for almost two decades. For those who have heard of the famous Turkish schools, this piece of history is hardly news item. What would however surprise most people is that Turkish International Schools is heavily involved in social projects that cater exclusively to the less privileged with absolutely zero profit consideration. I for on wass genuinely surprised to hear for the first time that this seemingly elitist institution has a soft side that reads more like full-time welfare project. 

With ongoing social intervention projects in health, education, water and sanitation, orphanages, even religious events, one might begin to imagine that the social services, and not its consortium, were its core concern. For its social programmes, NTIC has set up the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges Foundation (NTICF) which caters for a myriad of needs and social deprivations in the society.

The project revolve around initiatives designed to heal the sick, feed the hungry, provide succor for the fatherless and the motherless, protect entire communities against preventable diseases provide nutritional support for destitute households among others.Obviously aware or the yawning gap in health care services in the country particularly for the less privileged, the NTICF has embarked on free medical services, providing world class medical screening, treatment and even surgeries to those who can least afford it.

This initiative included about 100 indigent beneficiaries whose eyesight has been restored through it cataract removal programme in collaboration with the prestigious Turkish Nizamye Hospital. Ten times more beneficiaries are being targeted.But the focus is not just on diagnostic or curative medicine. Prevention also forms its health programme. 

The Foundation's clean water project across the country aims to protect millions of children who are especially vulnerable to the more than 30 waterborne diseases which afflicts populations in the developing world. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 4 million people die from waterborne diseases every year. On its motivation for the clean water project, FetullahCelik, the director off the NTIC foundation says "We realised that about 50% of Nigerians do not have access to portable water. As a CSR strategy we plan to construct 100 boreholes every year across the country". 

The Foundation's orphanage project is not just about the customary visitation with one-off donation of relief items. The foundation, apart from renovating orphanages to make them conducive enough to serve as 'substitute home's for the kids; it also has a long term programme of scholarship, health and recreational support for the orphans. 

Remarkably, its education support programme for the general population include not only scholarships to thousands of indigent Nigerian youths, but it is doing so by putting its world class educational facilities at the disposal of those who would ordinarily not stand a chance at affording the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges. The philosophy behind this project is what really captures its significance. According to Mr. Celik, the "ultimate goal is to raise or nurture a golden generation of Nigerians".

Not content with giving opportunity to the less-privileged through its own facilities, the foundation has extended its intervention to cover other beneficiaries who cannot practically be accommodated in its own educational facilities. In this regard, NTICF provides supports to tens of thousands of Nigerians in public schools through the supply of classroom facilities as well as study materials for individual students. 

In its commitment to the social change philosophy, there appear to be no boundaries. NTICF's nutritional support programme has distributed food including meat and dairy products, which are normally beyond the reach of the poor, to hundreds of thousands of the needy every year. The Foundation says its desire is that this endeavour "will continue forever". 

It would be stating the very obvious to say that these initiatives are part of NTICF's Corporate Social Responsibility programme. "Part of the idea behind establishing the foundation is giving back to the society", says Mr. Celik. But it would seem, from the complexion of its core business interests, that human services are its primary rather than a CSR concern. The First Surat Group for instance has its corporate interests concentrated in the human serverie' sector - the NTIC, the Nile University, the Nizamiye Hospital, etc.

The NTIC Foundation seemed to have imbibed the classic welf arist philosophy -'from everyone according to his ability and to everyone according to his needs '..

But whether or not the NTIC in particular or the Surat Group in general formally adopts welfarism as it guiding philosophy, it is clear from its social agenda that for the group, Nigeria, its host country, is not just a market; it is a community.

 

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17 Feb

 

Press statement from the Nigerian Army

Troops of Nigerian Army in various sectors in Operation Lafiya Dole have been carrying out raids, patrols, cordon and search operations in a bid to clear remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in their respective areas of operations.



Yesterday, one of the patrol teams of 254 Task Force Battalion carried out clearance operation at Kubwa village, Borno State in which they arrested 2 suspected Boko Haram terrorists hiding among the community.

Another patrol team of the same unit, carried out clearance operation at Yakshari village, off Wajiroko along Ajigin-Talala road and proceeded to Korode. It was here also that some suspected Boko Haram elements on sighting the troops, ran and abandoned 6 motorcycles and beans looted from the inhabitants of the area.

 


The same team also recovered 21 motorcycles and Boko Haram terrorists flag at Korode abandoned by the fleeing terrorists. Similarly, a civilian vehicle encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the area which badly affected it. The troops also discovered another IED at Mauvi village which was safely detonated.

In their efforts, troops of 7 Division Garrison, 112 Battalion, Army Headquarters Support Group and elements of Armed Forces Special Forces conducted a joint fighting patrol to suspected Boko Haram terrorists enclave in Gajibo, Maula, Gamai, Gamare, Maiwa, Warsale, Tangli, Tushi, Sowa, Hasanari, Changuwa, Malamaja and Marya towns in Mafa and Dikwa Local Governments Areas.
In the encounter, 5 Boko Haram terrorists were killed, an AK-47 rifle, 10 motorcycles and 1 logistic truck belonging to the terrorists were recovered. The troops also rescued 350 people held hostages by the terrorists. Among those rescued were 5 girls abducted from Cameroon.

In order to boost troops morale and to see things for himself, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Brigadier General VO Ezugwu visited 26 Task force Brigade and commended troops of 121 Task Force Battalion for the successful joint clearance operations at Kirawa and Ngoshe with Cameroonian forces.

See more pictures below:

 

Thank you for your kind and usual cooperation.
Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman Acting Director Army Public Relations

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