NIMASA CSR: Giving hope, succor to communities where and when most needed


NIMASA DG, Dr. Dakuku Peterside
By Hope Orivri

It is generally said that the first thing you should give a man is ‘hope’ for survival. And the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) can be adjudged to have given this to thousands of displaced persons in Nigeria when it went across 20 of Nigeria’s 36 States donating relief materials and assuring the people of efforts being done to help them overcome their predicament.
Those communities of people across Nigeria will not forget NIMASA in a hurry, as the agency, through its corporate social responsibility programme displayed a deep sense of worth upholding human dignity by extending the much-needed relief to those who needed it the most and at time they did.

NIMASA donating relief materials to IDP camp in Cross River State

Communities of people have been displaced from their homes as a result of heavy rains, fire and other natural disasters. And as such people become displaced and put in temporary shelters, their hope for survival therefore falls on the milk of kindness from people around them.

In the light of networking for the benefit of humanity , when the United Nations established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in January 2016, its strategic plan embraced all aspects of life to address issues challenging human existence including poverty, climate change and disaster risks among many others.

It aims to keep providing solutions guided by the SDG policy and doing so by practically partnering with governments across the world and with purposeful support from private corporate organisations and individuals.
Recalling the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina, which affected Florida, Louisiana, and particularly New Orleans in the US in August of 2005, the fatalities were put at  1,833, with an estimated  damage of $125.0 billion.

Though a very sad experience, but hope was kept alive for those affected as over 3000 volunteers helped out at various shelters, as much as hundreds of families who opened their doors to victims. Donations came from individuals and responsible corporate organisations too.

So, when the floods came sacking several communities in Nigeria in 2018, and others who also became displaced as a result of insurgencies, the sick, the old, pregnant women and children faced the hardship of survival in shelters where thousands of people needed to be catered for.

Of course, it was overwhelming on the state governments of affected areas to cater for the displaced persons’ needs alone, thus making it important for support from corporate citizens.
With news about the affected communities in the media, NIMASA rose to its corporate responsibility and ensured it gave the needy relief materials to bring some comfort to them, while they stayed in the camps.

Across the camps in different states including Lagos, Ogun, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Benue, Sokoto, Taraba, Osun, Cross River and others, NIMASA went to give various food items, clothes, bedding, clean water, medical support.

Responding to the need to help flood victims in August 2018, the agency offered succor to displaced persons in camps located in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while it also thought it wise to encourage other corporate bodies to do same.
On that occasion, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, noted the importance of taking the displaced persons as an integral part of the country, rather than discriminating against them.

He 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.”

Building on its established programme in April 2019, NIMASA kicked off with donations at the Lagos State Emergency Resettlement and Relief Camp in Igando Lagos, expressing its commitment to working with the state government on supporting indigent and displaced persons. On that occasion, the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu commended NIMASA for consistently being a worthy partner in catering for the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Lagos.

On its visit to Bakassi, Cross River State, NIMASA gave the displaced persons mattresses and blankets, fishing nets, school bags, food items including salt, rice, milk,  sugar, noodles, palm/vegetable oil, detergent, amongst others items.
The leader of the Bakassi IDP Camp, Mr. Etim Ene, thanked the agency for the items donated, and used the opportunity to request for other basic amenities that the camp lacked.

The agency went on to replicate the same kind gesture in Kaduna State where there are over 11, 000 IDPs. The materials donated covered food items, clothes as well as bedding. Similar visits were made to Kano, Delta, Osun and other states as earlier mentioned.

Recognising the selflessness of NIMASA in providing support for displaced persons in temporary shelters and camps, the Rotary International, District 9119, in May, honoured the agency for its corporate social responsibility in that regard.

Presenting the award, District Governor, Rotary 9110, Rotary International, Mr. Kola Sodipo, said: “The Agency deserves the award given to it because of the CSR activities it has been carrying out across the federation, which have really touched the lives of Nigerians at the point they need help the most.”
He also thanked the agency for its continued support to the Rotary Club.

NIMASA is confident of letting its light shine, in order to keep supporting communities of people  who are in need at different times.