In a practical demonstration of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Nigeria’s blue chip public institution, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has expended several millions of Naira on relief materials in aid of the displaced people of Bakassi in Cross River State.
The NPA last Friday donated relief materials, including pharmaceuticals, food items, power generating sets, blankets, mosquito nets, plates, buckets, toiletries, among others, to the people at the premises of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who was represented at the presentation ceremony by the Calabar Port Manager, Engr. Musa Wada, said that the donation was in line with the Authority’s CSR policy.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority in line with directive of President Good Luck Jonathan also recently responded to the plight of flood victims by donating relief materials to the people,” Abdullahi said.
Receiving the relief materials on behalf of the Bakassi people, their patroness and a member of the NPA Board, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, said that she was proud to be identified with NPA, describing it as a socially-responsible organisation.
Ita-Giwa expressed appreciation for the prompt manner in which the NPA responded to the desperate call for assistance by the Bakassi returnees.
Lamenting the deplorable living conditions of the Bakassi returnees, she said: “As we speak today, we have about 3,679 refugees at the camp; and I must say that the items donated by Nigerian Ports Authority are most appropriate because most of the female returnees came back pregnant and have had deliveries at the camp.”
Ita-Giwa explained that President Goodluck Jonathan recently hearkened to the cry of the Bakassi people by setting up a committee to look into the actualisation of their demand for their resettlement.
She thanked the people of Akpabuyo Local Government Area in Cross River State for allowing the Bakassi people to co-exist peacefully with them, adding that a rotation arrangement has been put in place for the governance of the council to ensure equity and fairness.
Ita-Giwa commended Governor Liyel Imoke for his compassionate disposition towards the Bakassi people, pointing out that past agitations by the people were not intended to embarrass government, but were, according to her, purely products of protracted agony and pain which the Bakassi people had been enduring over the past 12 years.
Also appreciating the efforts of the SEMA Director-General, Mr.Vincent Aquah, for what she described as his numerous assistance since the Bakassi incident began, Ita-Giwa urged the government to ensure that basic amenities were provided at the Day Spring settlement site to ease the life of the returnees when they eventually settle there.
Also speaking, Aquah disclosed that the relief materials donated by the NPA were the largest consignment ever received from any organisation for this present batch of returnees.
The Cross River SEMA boss urged other organisations to emulate the NPA to continue to see to the welfare of Bakassi returnees and make every effort to resettle them.