Kogi lauds Ecobank-NACA initiative at varsity

Ibrahim Idris, Governor of Kogi State

Ibrahim Idris, Governor of Kogi State

Kogi State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, has commended Ecobank Nigeria for funding the multi-million naira Ecobank-National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Youth Friendly Centre at Kogi State University, Ayingba.

Commissioning the ultra-modern centre last weekend, Wada said that the partnership between Ecobank and NACA to establish the centre in the state was quite impressive, stressing that it would go a long way in improving the lives of youths and check the prevalence of the dreaded HIV/AIDs and other health related diseases.

I must commend Ecobank, NACA and the university authourity for this multi-dimensional facility. Any effort to check prevalence of critical diseases of modern times must be appreciated, he said.

The Head, Personal Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Kingsley Umadia, said the establishment of the centre is part of Ecobank’s desire to give back to society.

For us at Ecobank, the vision of the youth-friendly centre stems from our desire to use all available opportunity to give back and contribute effectively towards the society in which the bank operates. We believe young people need a friendly environment that would offer recreational facilities and at the same time provide free guidance and counselling HIV/AID
S and other health issues,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor, Kogi State University, Prof. Hassan Isah, said he was elated as his school became the first state university to enjoy the Ecobank-NACA scheme.

“This project, midwifed by NACA and funded by Ecobank, is commendable. The challenge of funding is increasing level of engagement with organisations, philanthropists, NGOs and parastatals. We will put the facility to good use,” he said.

The Director-General, NACA, Prof. John Idoko, represented by Director, Partnership Coordination, NACA, Emmanuel Alhassan, stated that the partnership with Ecobank has so far produced eight centres in various universities across the country.

He explained that “apart from HIV/AIDS counselling, the centre will handle career, emotional issues and other related issues. We will ensure students gain access to the centre at all times.”

The Youth Friendly Centres were designed to engage students in recreational activities, while also providing a setting for the dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS in a non-threatening manner.

It also provides a unique opportunity for students to go for HIV counseling and testing in a ‘friendly’ environment.
The centres have four sections- games bay, library with HIV/AIDS material, Internet cafe/CD and video room and allied services section.

Currently, eight universities boast of the NACA-Ecobank Youth Friendly Centres- University of Uyo; University of Jos; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Port Harcourt; University of Abuja; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Kongo Campus); and Bayero University, Kano.

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