Polaris Bank has donated a building to serve as a ‘Sexual Assaults Referral Centre’ in Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State as its contribution to combating the incidence of gender-related assaults in the country.
The initiative which was done in collaboration with Ogun State government and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is aimed at providing support to victims of gender-based violence with a view to properly rehabilitating and reintegrating them into the larger society.
Polaris Bank, disclosed that the decision to support the initiative was taken following the spate of incidences bordering on gender-related assaults in the country.
The Bank’s Group Head, South West 1, Dr. Abimbola Akorede, who represented the Managing Director whilst handing over the building to the Ogun State Government decried the unfortunate spate of gender-based violence, especially cases involving minors with its attendant consequences on victims and the society at large. Dr. Akorede noted that all hands must be on deck to reverse the menace.
In her keynote address, the wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, lauded efforts of the partners Polaris Bank and United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) for the initiative noting that such partnership is intended to provide support and succour to victims of gender-related assault.
According to the Ogun State First Lady, “The menace has become the order of the day in our society but with the inauguration of the referral centre, we are assuring that in this state, the government will do everything within its capacity to ensure justice for victims.”
Also speaking at the inauguration, Akingbolahan Adeniran, Ogun State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, noted that the state will ensure proper investigation and prosecution of cases relating to gender-based violence. Adeniran, who was represented by Olumide Mustapha, Special Adviser to the Governor on Legal Matters, added that support for victims through empowerment and rehabilitation will also help in reducing the adverse effects of such experiences.
In her remarks, Uller Mueller, Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), called for support to ensure peaceful coexistence as well as an enabling environment for residents to thrive.
Polaris Bank has been at the forefront of a series of global activities towards the empowerment and development of women and the girl child. A huge investment has been committed in various sectors of the economy to give expression to this strategic thrust, some of which include being an UNEP FI signatory, funded the major equipment for the establishment of Marcelle Ruth Cancer Center and partnership with C.O.PE Foundation, a breast cancer awareness network and NGO. Others include; partnership with International Women’s Society, Lekki Skill Center for women and Society Healthcare Organisation (SHO) with whom it recently reached out to over 1,000 women in Jigawa State, north of Nigeria on cervical cancer outreach.
The Centre is a collaborative initiative involving Polaris Bank, the Ogun State Government and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).