In keeping with its avowed commitment to wealth creation and changing the narrative of the Niger Delta, a leading indigenous oil company in the region, Belemaoil Producing Limited has empowered ten persons with funds to set up and grow their businesses.
The beneficiaries most of whom are drawn from different parts of Rivers and Bayelsa States received cheques ranging between N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) and N6,000,000.00 (Six Million Naira) under the 2019 NNPC/Belemaoil JV Economic Empowerment Programme to support and grow Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. The beneficiaries cut across different enterprises including fish farming, music, hospitality, beauty and fashion, digital production, among others.
Speaking during the official presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at the company corporate headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Director Production and Engineering of Belemaoil Producing Ltd., Engr Mufaa Welsh said the essence of the scheme is to support efforts by all tiers of government to reduce the rate of unemployment and crime in the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.
The Director said: “It is actually to assist the Government in reducing the unemployment rate in Nigeria so that we will have a crime-free society for all of us to live in. We are committed 100% in ensuring that we reduce our unemployment rate in Nigeria. Our charge to the beneficiaries is that they judiciously use the funds that have been provided for them and to make sure that they create more employment for others who are not yet employed.”
Also, the Manager External Relations of Belemaoil Producing Ltd., Mr. Samuel Abel-Jumbo called on the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the funds to encourage the company to do more.
He said: “This is a Joint Venture Programme and we are the operators of that JV so everything we do here the NNPC is part of it. NNPC is supporting you, Belemaoil is supporting you. This is not a loan this is a gift from us to you. If you do what you said you are going to do with the funds it makes us happy, it gives an opportunity for the next people to also benefit. But if you don’t do what you said you are going to do with the funds and we are not seeing progress we can’t continue. We are going to monitor you to the letter.”
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke thanked Belemaoil and promised to put the funds in good use. One of the beneficiaries, a fish farmer, Mr. Bethel Oko-Jaja said, “Today Belemaoil has shown that commitment in ensuring that the people of Niger Delta and Nigerians are properly empowered for national development. This kind gesture will not go unappreciated if not by man, by God Almighty. Let me thank Belemaoil for this kind gesture and to say we shall reciprocate by judiciously utilize these funds provided today.
Another beneficiary, Ms. Gloria Ekaro, a Beauty Salon owner said: “I thank Belemaoil for this gesture. I am not from the Host Community local government area, I am from Ahoada East and if they do this for somebody from Ahoada East, I don’t know, it’s amazing. I feel elated right now.”
Meanwhile, the National President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Amb. Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo who is one of the facilitators of the empowerment scheme, thanked the Founder and President of Belemaoil Producing Ltd., Mr. Jack-Rich Tein Jr. for the gesture.
Amb. Sukubo said: “The beneficiaries are from Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. None of them expected that their request will come to reality. The only thing I will say to Rivers people, Nigerians and the Niger Delta, this is just the beginning because God has sent the President and Founder of Belemaoil Producing Ltd, Mr. Jack-Rich Tein Jr., to Rivers people, to the Niger Delta people and Nigeria at large. I thank God and pray that God will bless him and give him more opportunity to reach out to his people.”