As a way of fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) recently engaged youths, adults and parents in Igarra, Edo State and offered them free medical services, skill acquisition training, guidance and counselling on career choices.
In the six-day programme, about 300 persons got free eye tests, while 158 pairs of eye glasses were distributed to beneficiaries who were tested of different levels of eye ailments. Several indigenes benefited from different kinds of eye treatment and more than 261 persons were tested for HIV/AIDS, Hypertension and Diabetes.
Executive Chairman of FIRS, Ifueko Omoigui Okauru who delivered a lecture on “Leadership and Actualising Your Potential” urged the people to be productive and take their destiny in their own hands.
She said that God has given everybody the right to choose from succeeding and failing and encouraged the people to work hard and be focused in order to achieve their aspirations.
She said: “Your background does not matter. Whether you are born rich or poor, if you decide to achieve success, then, you will”.
Dr. John Dongo, Chief Optician, University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital, UITH who conducted the eye test, said the beneficiaries would not forget in a hurry the FIRS for bringing them the services.
“I am from Igarra too and I must tell you that the people are very happy. We have a total number of about 300 patients who were tested for eye problems. 158 of them were given a pair of eye glasses each to aid their vision. We identified 21 cataract cases and about nine cases of operable patients”, Dongo said.
At several sessions, experts in various fields trained the people on pursuing a career in Agriculture, Building, Plumbing, Construction Engineering and Photography. Youths were guided on their careers and choice of careers in Law, Accounting, Communications, Information Technology, Engineering (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical), Architecture, Medical and Pharmaceutical professions. There were also sessions of motivational talks on Leadership and self-actualization.
Other professionals who mentored the youth during the sessions include Director-General, Nigeria Governors Forum, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru, Engr. Ekhar Ibrahim Audu, Department of Civil Engineering, Auchi Polytechnic, Mr. Emmanuel Obeta, Director Corporate Communications Department, FIRS , Assistant Director, Large Tax Office, Oil and Gas, Lagos, Mr. David Ogedengbe and Mr. Kole Jagun, from Press Consulting Lagos.
Expressing satisfaction at the people’s turn-out for the exercise, Okauru said she was happy to see that her dream to give back to the people is coming to fruition.
Said the FIRS Chairman: “Thank you for making our (FIRS) dream a success. The truth of the matter is that we (FIRS) and other organisations cannot give everybody jobs. But there are many things out there which you can make a decent living on. We then decided to use this opportunity of the ABA festival to educate the people. If God has blessed us this much, why then should we stay at home, in poverty, waiting for a magic day, which is not coming, when everybody will have a job?
“We decided to focus on the things that are important to the community like skills acquisition and health. That is why we chose to use this opportunity to offer free skill acquisition training and medical services”.
The FIRS team also paid a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of Igarra, the Otaru of Igarra, Oba E.A Saiki. He said he was impressed by the decision of the service to give back to the people of his kingdom. Saiki gave FIRS his support and prayed that God would be with the institution.
FIRS chose the period around ABA festival –an age grade graduation festival of the Igarra people– for the programme in order to enable many youths, adults and parents to participate.