From Magnus Eze, Enugu and Obinna Odogwu, Awka
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has, for the first time in its corporate social responsibility (CSR), intervened in Enugu State as it gave succour to internally displaced persons (IDPs), small and medium enterprise (SME) operators as well as educational institutions.
A similar gesture was extended to the Anambra State government as support for its schools.
NIMASA explained that some of the materials were aimed at assisting the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led administration in the advancement of education as well as encouraging SMEs in the state.
Director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, presented the items to Enugu State’s Deputy Governor, Cecilia Ezeilo, at the Government House on May 29.
Represented by Kevin Ogbuanu, director, public-private partnership (PPP) in the agency, Jamoh said the items, comprising bags of rice, beans, salt and groundnut, among others, would assist the state government in providing succour to IDPs.
The DG disclosed that the materials were attracted by the member representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu State, Nnoli Nnaji. He said that the organization has a culture of visiting states across the country that are ravaged by crises, including communal, ethnic clashes and flood disasters.
He said: “The agency has a policy on CSR, which has been going on. From our records, today is the first time we are reaching out to Enugu State. Hon. Nnoli Nnaji had worked so hard for us to be here. Our not being here over the years was because Enugu was not a littoral state, we had been intervening in such places, especially where there were crises.
“But, henceforth, we will make sure that the state benefits from our agency’s CSR, just like other states have been benefitting”.
In her brief remarks, shortly after receiving the items for the state government, Deputy Governor Ezeilo expressed appreciation to the NIMASA DG and Hon. Nnaji, for the kind gesture.
She assured that the items would be distributed fairly and for the purpose they were meant for. “I want to thank NIMASA, especially the DG, for remembering Enugu,” she said.
Nnaji, who is chairman, House Committee on Aviation, and also a member of the committee on NIMASA, applauded the agency for listening to his appeals.
He said: “When our leader, the governor, used to be chairman of the House Committee on Marine Services, it was structures that we had. But this is the little we can attract, but we hope that in future, it could get better.
“I will do my best to make sure that we are not left out again just as our governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, did when he was there as a member of the Federal House.”
Some other items handed over to the Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (ESEMA) were educational materials, assorted food items as well as machineries for the advancement of SMEs; hair dryers, grinding machines, tricycles, otherwise known as Keke NAPEP, and motorcycles, among others.
In Anambra, Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, received the donations on behalf of the state government from the executive director of NIMASA, Chudi Offodile.
The items consisting of 40 desktop computers, 19 whiteboards, 30 packs of markers, 60 dozens of exercise books, 30 packs of erasers, 30 pieces of mathematical instruments, three cartons of calculators and eight cartons of UPS were for onward distribution to some schools in the state.
Other items were Chemistry, Physics, English Language, Biology, and Economics textbooks, as well as textbooks for primary schools.
“We have 40 desktop computers, some books, boards. This is part of our corporate social responsibility. So, on behalf of the directo-general of NIMASA and the governing board, I present these to the government of Anambra State through the Secretary to the Government.
“I hope that this state will find these materials useful and the different schools that will benefit from it will take advantage of these for the betterment of the society”, Ofodile said.
Responding, the SSG, Chukwulobelu, thanked NIMASA for the donations, saying the items would be put to the best use. He noted that the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, was making massive investments in the education sector just to ensure that the state maintained its lead in the country.
“You may recall that during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2019/2020, the same NIMASA actually donated some palliatives to the state. I think that underscores why sometimes we feel that in appointments, there should be a reflection of the federal character.
“We are proud of our son. He is representing our interest in NIMASA but I am sure that, being a true Igbo man, he is also doing the same across the other states of Nigeria. So, we are pleased to receive these educational materials. I can see computers, whiteboards and other things.
“We will appeal for more because you know that education is the very fundamental enabler in any development. We look forward to a time when NIMASA will actually adopt a technical school, a big secondary school and equip it with everything it requires.
“If they are able to do the same for some of our hospitals, it’ll be good because at the end of the day the state government cannot do everything given its meagre resources.
“This administration has lived through recessions and anyhow we can get from the corporate sector will be fully appreciated”, the SSG said.
For the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, the donation would go a long way to enhance the state’s competitiveness.
“This donation will go a long way to enhance Anambra’s competitiveness as the most educationally advanced State in Nigeria. We are moving into the 21st century education which is driven by ICT; not the traditional mode of pedagogy.
“ICT is the way to go and this is in line with the vision of the current administration to make Anambra State a fully developed economy by the year 2070.
“Secondly, it reflects on the social consciousness of the NIMASA leadership. That is to say that NIMASA is very aware of the fact that it has an obligation to give back to the society from which it generates its revenue, and indeed, its being”, Adinuba said.