By Steve Agbota                                    

West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has awarded scholarships to a fresh batch of 50 beneficiaries under its annual scholarship scheme.

The scheme awards scholarships to undergraduate students drawn from its host communities of Onne and Ogu. So far, 100 students from the two communities have benefited from the scheme worth over N60 million.

Speaking recently during the scholarship award and presentation ceremony at Onne Port, Rivers State, the Managing Director of WACT, Jeethu Jose, congratulated the beneficiaries, and said that the scheme is a tool to identify, nurture and attract talents from the host communities.

“I wish to start by congratulating the students who are here to receive the WACT scholarship award. I know how rigorous the process was, your emergence as beneficiaries of the scholarship is a testament of not only your intelligence but also your hardwork and dedication to your studies,” he said.

Mr. Jose said that the scheme demonstrates the company’s involvement to strengthen the country’s education system and support students to achieve their potentials.

He said that in order to ensure WACT leaves a lasting impact on the indigenes of its host communities, the company reorganised its relationship with the host communities on transparency, visibility and inclusivity.

“The scholarship scheme is only but one of the many positive outcomes of WACT’s refreshed community engagement framework. It is therefore a huge delight for me to mention that the scheme does not end with these payments. We have provided a platform where some of the students are offered internship opportunities in the terminal to learn the culture and values of our company and also gain hands-on experience relevant to their field of study,” he said.

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The WACT Managing Director commended the host communities for providing a convenient atmosphere for the company to operate, while also reiterating WACT’s commitment to the host communities.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Ogu Divisional Council of Chiefs, Adokiye Chuku, expressed appreciation to WACT for impacting the lives of indigenes of the community. 

“We are going through a tough time and for you to have done this; it is a great relief for us and youth restiveness will come down to its minimum level,” he said.

The paramount ruler of Onne, King Sunday Jiala, who was represented by the Chairman, Ogu Community Development Committee, Sunday Dudu, commended WACT for bringing capacity development and physical development to the community. He also assured WACT of the community’s cooperation and support.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Adolphus Salome Ibikinibari, said, “On behalf of myself and other candidates that participated in the West Africa Container Terminal award, I sincerely want to say thank you to WACT for giving us this opportunity, for your generosity and commitment to education.”

And as such, looking into the student’s community to see how best you can impact and encourage us to pursue our educational goals.”

The scholarship presentation ceremony was attended by the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Nigeria Customs Service, Department of State Service (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), leaders of the host communities, and youth leaders, among others.