By Dennis Agbo
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.
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.