The Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, has empowered over 100 women and youths of Umuaram-Ikem, Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu state with vocational skills training and empowerment items to create employment and wealth generation.
According to today.ng, the equipments distributed freely to the community members as part of the NPA’s corporate social responsibility included sewing and grinding machines.
Handing over the equipment, Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman stated that the items were meant for indigent citizens to use and augment their leaving so as to uplift them from shackles of poverty.
Represented by NPA Assistant General Manager Procurement, Engr. Okechukwu Eze, Usman said that the agency has as targets, women and youths who may have learnt some trades but could not find equipment to start the business, hence the intervention to alleviate some persons from difficulty and poverty.
She noted that the grinding machines were for those who did not posses formal skills, but needed low scale businesses to survive and cope with family responsibilities.
“The Managing Director has a small message for the beneficiaries: There are those who sell their machines for a token, the purpose of this equipment is to open business outlets with them to help augment your leaving. In a few years time you will become millionaires. Please don’t sell them,” Eze pleaded with the beneficiaries.
Traditional Ruler of Ikem-Uno community, HRH, Igwe Okey Ogbodo expressed appreciation for the empowerment items offered members of the community, saying he initially thought the project was in a proposal stage but was surprised to see the equipments on the ground within a short period of notice.
“We appreciate the support of NPA and we look forward to the MD’s visit to Ikem to see the result of the NPA empowerment scheme,” the monarch said.
One of the beneficiaries who got a sewing machine, Miss Chidinma Ugwu said that even though she did not learn tailoring, she would henceforth enroll for the trade since she already has starter equipment.
Fashion design is a lucrative enterprise and I am glad that this has given me the opportunity to go and start learning the trade which I know will benefit me in a long run,” Ugwu said.
President General of the Ikem federated Improvement Union, Prof Sam Ugwu while appreciating the NPA gesture to his community said he thought it was politicians who were exclusively entitled to distribute empowerment items.
Smuggling: Navy impounds 2,053 bags of ‘foreign rice’ in Akwa Ibom
The battle to enforce the temporary closure of borders appears to havce shifted to creeks and rivers of Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States as the Nigerian Navy continuous to crack down on unrelenting smuggling cartels.
The Forward Operating Base of the Nigerian Navgy in Ibaka, Mbo local government area, Akwa Ibom State said it has arrested 13 suspects and seized 2,053 bags of smuggled rice from them.
Speaking on Thursday in Ibaka, Commanding Officer, FOB, Captain Peter Yilme said the suspects were arrested in two different operations on the 26th and 29th January 2020 at about 0055 and 0615 hours respectively at the
Unyenge creek area.
Speaking on behalf of Captain Peter Yilme at the handover of the suspects and 50kg bags of rice to the Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service, Garuba Hassan, the Base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kabiru Yusuf, said the arrests were made during a routine patrol by Navy gunboats.
He pointed out that the base will not relent in putting an end to illegalities on the water ways, and advised the smugglers to desist from the illicit act.
He added that the arrests were made within three days after 5 suspects and 98 bags of rice were handed over to the NCS.
“On behalf of the Commanding Officer, FOB, Ibaka, I hand over 2 053 bags of seized rice and 13 suspects to DSC KG Hassan of the NCS.
“The arrest brings to fore the unrelenting drive of the smugglers to continue their illicit acts. Nevertheless, the Base will not relent in riding the waterways of all forms of criminal activities in order for legitimate economic activities to strive.
“Smugglers are advised to turn a new leaf and embrace legitimate business activities. FOB, Ibaka appreciates once again, the provision of necessary logistics to the Base by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas.
“Additionally, the Base would not be achieving its operational mandate if not for the support and encouragement accorded her by the FOC Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral David Adeniran,” he stated.
NPA moves to retrieve building from Bank of Industry, writes Transportation Ministry
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has written to the Minister of Transportation requesting that the Bank of Industry, BoI building be returned to the Fund.
Vanguard Maritime reports that the Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, while speaking to newsmen at the just concluded maritime industry corporate dinner and merit awards hosted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, said that the agency has written to the Ministry asking that the property be returned to the NPA’s superannuation fund.
She explained that the BoI Building was a replacement for the Ship House in Abuja erected with money from the NPA’s pension fund but was taken over by the Defence Ministry who are the original owners of the BoI Building.
The Bank of Industry was relocated to the BoI Building after its original head office on Broad Street, Lagos was gutted by fire. She stated: “We have written to the Ministry for them to get the necessary approval for the property to be reverted back to the Nigerian Ports Authority Superannuation Fund.”
She also explained that the money which was used in erecting the Ship House was part of the assets of the Superannuation Fund being used by the authority to meet the financial obligations to its retirees.
Recall that the Nigerian Ports Authority Pensioners Welfare Association, NPAPWA, had last year mounted a campaign to recover the prime asset. The group had allegedly accused the Bank of Industry of leasing out part of the property and keeping the proceeds to themselves without recourse to the owners, NPA Superannuation Fund.