By Godwin Oritse
West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has awarded scholarships worth N30 million to 50 undergraduate students drawn from Onne and Ogu communities in Rivers State.
Located in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne Port, Rivers State, WACT is the largest container terminal outside Lagos.
Speaking at the scholarship presentation ceremony in Onne on Wednesday, the Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Naved Zafar, congratulated the beneficiaries and urged them to work hard in their studies.
He said, “Congratulations to the awardees. Your success today is not yours alone as it is the fruit of the sacrifices made by your parents, support of your family and guidance of your teachers. You are a great pride not only to us but to the nation. We at WACT are proud to have some former beneficiaries of our scholarship scheme in our organisation today. Through hard work and diligence, they are well regarded in their respective fields.”
Mr. Zafar said that this year WACT has adopted a new approach in selecting the beneficiaries of its annual tertiary scholarship awards. He said the new approach was adopted to reflect WACT’s aspiration of observing transparency, inclusivity , and visibility for all in its relations with the host communities.
“This is just the beginning of a plan to further develop our youths to be self-reliant in fields that are highly relevant in our rapidly changing digital world,” he said.
He commended the host communities for their cooperation and assured them of sustained cordial relationship.
Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Sunday Okogbue, who was represented at the scholarship award ceremony by Prof. Henry C. Amadi, commended the management of WACT for its commitment towards promoting education and leadership development among youths in the host communities. He encouraged the beneficiaries to make good use of the scholarships to develop rewarding careers for themselves.
Also speaking at the event, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to France, Ambassador Spiff Taribo-Amgbara, charged the beneficiaries to make good use of the rare opportunity and transform into good leaders that will contribute to transforming the society.
One of the beneficiaries of the scholarship awards, Godbless Nkpornwi Ezekiel, said, “The prevailing circumstances in Nigeria makes it very challenging for my parents alone to cater for the educational needs of my siblings and I. So for me, this is a personal blessing I don’t take for granted. To fellow WACT scholars, pursue education, as the values are endless; to the leadership of WACT, you are transforming lives where it matters most. Thank you for making this opportunity available.”
The scholarship presentation ceremony was attended by the representatives of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, leaders of the host communities, youth leaders and the academia, among others.
WACT is owned and operated by APM Terminals. It started commercial operation in 2006 as the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State. Over the years, it has grown to become the most efficient gateway to markets outside the Lagos area.
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