July 7, 2022
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Pacegate Limited has attained significant milestones in doing business in Nigeria. In this interview, Umesh Amarnani, managing director, Pacegate tells Ebunoluwa Ladipo how the company is giving back to society. Excerpts:

Pacegate is the only UN Certified steel drum factory in Nigeria. Can you tell us more about this?

Indeed, Pacegate Limited is the only UN Certified steel drum factory in Nigeria.

The UN-approved packaging guarantees that the drums have been built, tested, and certified to carry precious liquid or solid which can be either hazardous or non-hazardous.

The certification also confirms that the drums are environmentally friendly and with no leakages.

Our automated, state-of-the-art steel drum factory can produce 5,000 steel drums per day, making us one of Africa’s largest fully automated plants.

What is Evolve?

Evolve is Pacegate and PEARL’s CSR Initiative. Apart from manufacturing steel drums, Pacegate distributes the Adipro Additives packages for lubricants.

Also, PEARL (Pacegate Energy and Resources Limited) is an indigenous oilfield production chemical company providing in-class and green products to meet the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The Evolve Initiative has a clear mandate focusing on two areas. The S-connect is the schools connect and the C-connect is the connection of the corporate.

Through the S-Connect, Evolve reaches out to educational institutions mostly secondary schools across the country. On the other hand, the C-connect focuses more on the corporates, which is done in partnership with Adizes Institute based in California, USA.

How does Evolve empower girls through education?

At Pacegate, we believe that the education, empowerment, and leadership of girls and young women are one of the key ways to make a positive difference in the community.

Evolve embodies this belief through the School Connect Initiative. We believe that girls’ education is a strategic development priority for which both the government and private organisations are responsible.

Every day, girls face barriers to education caused by poverty, cultural norms and practices, poor infrastructure, and violence amongst others. Evolve addresses this by providing girls attending government schools with school supplies as well as teaching them heartfulness relaxation techniques that reduce stress and improve mental and emotional wellbeing.

Also, educated girls are more likely to learn about climate change and how to deal with its effects.

Read also: Climate change: Businesses, Nonprofits leading momentum towards net-zero

What is your opinion on educating the girl-child as a sustainable means of addressing climate change?

According to Project Drawdown, the world’s leading research for climate solutions carried out by 100 of the top scientists in the world, educating girls is the sixth most impactful solution out of 100 mentioned combating the effects of global warming.

Evolve seeks to address the global challenge of climate change through the education of underprivileged girls.

We believe that educated girls are more equipped to deal with the impact of climate change. Educated girls realize higher wages and greater upward mobility, contributing to economic growth.

They become effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water, even as nature’s cycles change. They have a greater capacity to cope with shocks from extreme weather events.

Evolve has successfully created immense value, leveraging strategic partnerships. Why did you choose to collaborate with partners on this project?

Partnerships are the lifeline of most successful CSR strategies. For Evolve, collaboration is key. To bring our vision to life, we had the support of incredible partners such as Polaris Bank and OVH Energy Marketing.

The support of both the government and recipient schools has also been critical to our success.

What has been the impact of the Evolve initiative and are you satisfied with the impact you are making with this programme?

Yes, I am very excited about the progress we have made so far but I am even more excited about what the future holds for Evolve.

We have identified 21 schools across Lagos State, Kano State, Rivers State, and Imo State. Our goal is to reach underprivileged girls in these schools with school supplies such as school bags, books, pens, sandals, and uniforms supporting their education.

We also hope to increase our impact in the next four years to reach 50,000 girls across 100 schools in Nigeria.

Can you shed more light on the recipient schools?

Currently, the recipients are spread across four states in Nigeria.

The recipient schools for this year are Ilupeju Junior and Senior Secondary School, Lagos state; Estate Junior and Senior Grammar School Ilupeju, Lagos state; Ilupeju Junior and Senior Grammar School, Lagos state; Oshodi Senior High School, Lagos state; Omole Senior Grammar School.

Lagos state; Opebi Junior and Senior Grammar School, Lagos state; National High School, Arondizuogu, Imo state; Comprehensive Sec. Sch. Aniche, Imo state; Iheme Memorial Secondary School; Cor Mariae High School Urualla, Imo state; Mary Elizabeth Sumner Convent School, Imo state; Oginigba Community Secondary School, Rivers State; Government Junior and Senior Secondary School Elekahia, Rivers state; Community Junior and Senior Secondary School Amadi-Ama, Rivers state; Kundila Govt Girls Arabic School, Kano State.

What do you see in the future for your brand and your corporate social responsibility?

We believe strongly in giving back to not just our local community but the country at large. We will continue to do what is right. We will achieve this through the collaborative efforts of our brands, employees, and partners who have all been supportive so far. While we continue to serve our consumers, we will also remain steadfast in our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.

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