It is not news that many Nigerians in various states have been displaced by the insurgency and natural disasters like flood and fire. Vulnerable, they survive on very meager handouts they get at IDP camps which have become their temporary homes. Adults, youths and children who perhaps got widowed, orphaned, or severed from their loved ones by those experiences are littered across Nigerian states- devastated but hoping to find hope and the courage to live on someday.
Such indigent persons in various communities may have had their prayers answered as the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) led by the Director General Dr Dakuku Peterside has consciously lit up candles of hope across various camps. The Agency through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative visited and donated relief materials to the vulnerable and displaced within 20 states of the federation.
Besides food, the health and psychological wellbeing of the downtrodden was of grave concern to NIMASA as it travelled from Lagos to Ogun, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Benue, Sokoto, Taraba, Osun, Cross River to mention a few handing over various food items, clothes, beddings, clean water, medical support.
These efforts did not just begin. NIMASA in August 2018 provided help to the Abuja flood victims in camps and campaigned for similar support from other corporate bodies on behalf of the victims.
In April 2019, NIMASA visited the Lagos State Emergency Resettlement and Relief Camp, Igando Lagos with donations and thus restating its commitment to supporting the indigent.
The Agency went on to visit Bakassi, Cross River State, where it donated mattresses and blankets, fishing nets, school bags, food items including salt, rice, milk, sugar, noodles, palm/vegetable oil, detergent, amongst others items to the displaced.
It also extended the same gesture to Kaduna State which houses over 11, 000 Internally Displaced Persons. The victims got food items, clothes as well as beddings. Kano, Delta, Osun and other states have also enjoyed support from the Agency.
The Agency has also received commendations as a result of these CSR activities. In May 2019, the Rotary International, District 9119 also recognized and commended NIMASA for providing support for displaced persons in temporary shelters and camps. The group presented an award to the agency and the District Governor, Rotary 9110, Rotary International; Mr. Kola Sodipo had this to say:
“The Agency deserves the award given to it because of the CSR activities it has been carrying out across the federation, which has really touched the lives of Nigerians at the point they need help the most.”
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu in a separate development described NIMASA as a “worthy partner in catering for the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Lagos.”
NIMASA is however not be relenting on its oars as the organization sees displaced persons as an integral part of the country. Once addressing vicitims in one of the camps, the Agency’s helmsman, Dr Dakuku Peterside said:
“We must share in the grief of our fellow citizens, as no one wishes to find his or her self in any camp, knowing fully well that the comfort there is minimal. Let me also assure you that in no distant time from now, you will all return to your abodes as the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that your safety is paramount. For us in NIMASA we are not just concerned about the well-being of the maritime sector, but as a corporate socially responsible Agency, we are concerned about your welfare; this is why we are here to support you the best way we can.”
For the Agency, it is obviously does not end until each displaced person is given the basic comfort of life and a ray of hope.