A partnership between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Company Limited (NNPC/SNEPCo) and an NGO, The Irede Foundation has been supporting pupils living with disabilities with prosthetic limbs and training to enable them to acquire education and lead productive lives.
Among other achievements, the partnership which has gone on for five years, provided prosthetic limbs to 25 child amputees who have since returned to school and upgraded The Irede Foundation Prosthetic Limb Centre for conducive limb production, fitting, and rehabilitation process. To date, the centre has catered to more than 150 child amputees.
Four prosthetic limbs were handed out at a ceremony in Lagos on Tuesday in the latest outreach under the partnership. “Every year, it brings us even more joy to have new friends join us and we are so proud of the progress our old friends are making in their personal lives after receiving their artificial limbs,” SNEPCo Managing Director, Elohor Aiboni said,
She added: “At Shell, powering progress means powering lives and livelihoods through our products and activities, and by supporting an inclusive society which the limb support initiative aims to promote. As we continue to work for the socio -economic development of our country and its people we constantly recognise that the future of any nation lies in its children.”
In an address, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS,) Mr. Bala Wunti said: “Our mission is not just to provide physical support, but to empower these children to reach for the stars. With these prosthetics, we are giving them the wings to fly, the legs to run, and the confidence to embrace life’s challenges head-on.”
Wunti, who was represented by NUIMS External Relations Deputy Manager, Mrs. Bunmi Lawson, said: NNPC Limited would continuously champion the implementation of Sustainable projects and programmes that would positively impact the lives of Nigerian citizens.
Executive Director, The IREDE Foundation, Mrs Crystal Chigbu, described the partnership with NNPC/SNEPCo as a “transformative collaboration.” She said: “Five years ago, we embarked on a journey filled with hope, purpose, and a shared commitment to make a difference in the lives of children. Today, as we reflect on our collective efforts, we can proudly say that we have made a profound impact.”
The impact of the partnership has stretched beyond young lives. It has promoted inclusion in a public outreach christened “Out on A Limb Walk” and equipped secondary school students with the information and skills to support fellow students living with limb disabilities. In addition, the partnership has educated nearly 5,000 pupils about disability through discussions and distribution of a comic book created by The Irede Foundation to drive advocacy for children living with disabilities.
Supporting pupils living with disabilities is just one aspect of the social investment portfolio of NNPC/SNEPCo which includes provision of educational and healthcare services and facilities across Nigeria. Last year, NNPC/SNEPCo constructed and renovated two primary healthcare centres for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno and Yobe states. These provide Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, medical infrastructure and training for 252 healthcare workers.