Cross Riverians from all walks of life have continued to laud the recent empowerment initiative of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) , under its Corporate Social Responsibility and Social intervention Programme , in which hundreds of people have benefitted in the State.
The philanthropical gestures of the NPA Board Chairman,Chief Akin Ricketts, has been extolled , who they described as been reputed for organizing such empowerment initiatives annually for the less privileged and widows in the last three decades.
The Nigerian Ports Authority had last weekend empowered over three hundred poor and less privileged persons , drawn from the Six Local Government areas of the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State, comprising of Abi,Boki,Etung,Ikom,Obubra and Yakurr,all having a combined total of Sixty-six Political Wards. The Empowerment items donated include :100 Brand new Motorcycles, 50 Butterfly Sewing Machines while over one hundred widows were gifted Wrappers and Ten thousand Naira each to enhance their christmas celebration.
In his remark , Prince Bassey Otu, a former Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, commended NPA Management for the gesture,describing it as an “excellent idea”.
Senator Otu praised the leadership and philanthropic disposition of the NPA Board Chairman over the years,adding that Chief Ricketts was a man with a large heart .”In this perilous times,Cross Riverians must come together to rebuild the State through giving back to the Society”,he enthused.
Also reacting,Chief Obono Obla,the Village Head of Letampankom Community in Ijiman Clan of Yakurr Local Government area of the State said the empowerment initiative was unprecedented as this was the first time in the history of Nigeria that people from this part of the country will be benefitting from NPA’s Corporate Social Responsibility empowerment of the program.
Chief Obla,who is also the Obol Kepun in the area lauded the NPA Board Chairman, the Managing Director of NPA,Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman for making the empowerment possible, noting the CSR initiative in the 66 Wards of the Senatorial District is capable of elevating over 5000 households.
The APC chieftain advocated for a true Servant-Leader style of leadership,saying that Chief Ricketts has over the years, demonstrated selfless leadership which he pointed out has reflected hugely everywhere he had served.
Mr Clement Onana from Obubra Local Government Area, said 25 persons from his Council area benefited from the MotorCycle largesse,stressing that the selection process was transparent as those that knew no political bigwig were all accommodated.
In his remarks,Hon Krees Ojondee said Boki people are very happy and grateful to NPA Board for the Social intervention programme,,which he maintained has never happened before in the area.Hon Ojondee commended President Buhari and the Minister of Transportation,Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi for raising Chief Ricketts to the Chairmanship of NPA Board,assuring that APC followership in Cross River Central is soaring higher every day.
In his remarks at the empowerment event,the Chairman of NPA Board,Chief Akin Ricketts ‘noted that the gesture was NPA’s way of promoting entreprenuership in the nation,pointing out that this was only the first phase of the CSR intiative while other zones will be covered subsequently.
Chief Ricketts,who holds the traditional title of Obol Nkama 1 of Ugep,Yakurr Local Government area of Cross River State said the NPA CSR was intended to complement his yearly empowerment to indigent members of his constituency,, emphasizing that what has been provided will trickle down to many others to enable them celebrate the yuletide season.