Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Indigenous oil firm, Belemaoil Producing Limited, has empowered 10 people, including two musicians; Dauye Youdubagha and Tamunoemi Debo-Gold, with about N30 million to start-up businesses.
While Youdubagha, popularly known as Baba Sempe, hails from Opukuma Community in Kolokuma/Opukuma local government area of Bayelsa State, Tamunoemi Debo-Gold is from Buguma in Asari-Toru local government area of Rivers State.
Handing over cheques to the beneficiaries in Port Harcourt recently, the Director, Production, Belemaoil Producing Limited, Mufa Welsh, said the aim of the economic empowerment was to assist government in reducing unemployment in the country.
Welsh said: “It is actually to assist the government to reduce unemployment rate in Nigeria so that we can reduce insecurity in the country. Belemaoil is committed 100 per cent in ensuring that unemployment is reduced in Nigeria.”
He charged beneficiaries of the economic empowerment programme to make good use of the funds provided for them.
Welsh said: “My charge to the beneficiaries is to ensure that the judiciously use the funds provided to them. They should make sure the create employment for those who are unemployed.”
Speaking also, the General Manager, External Relations, Belemaoil, Samuel Abel-Jumbo, said gestures by the indigenous oil firm were not limited to it’s areas of operations and host communities alone.
Abel-Jumbo said: “Let me throw light on a particular case that I feel very concerned about. Part of what we do as an indigenous company, we are not only limited to our areas of operations. We still get across to other communities in other states. We have our brother here, Baba Sempe.
“When he called me on phone and we interviewed him. I asked, where are you from? He said he is from Bayelsa State, Niger Delta. He is our brother. If he succeeds in music, he will help five other people to succeed.
“What we do here, we are all passionate about it. We are starting it up with you, others will benefit from it.”
India reaction, one of the beneficiaries, Debo-Gold, who is more than 70 years old, prayed God to bless Belemaoil Producing Limited and its Founder/President, Jack-Rich Tein Jr.
He said: “Surprisingly, on March 9 during the governorship election, the election was manipulated somehow. So, it came to my memory and I was inspired and I sang a song.
“That song was videoed and put on Facebook. That was where Belemaoil saw me and picked me and did me this favour today.
“I have already handed him over to God. God should guide him He has made my live to be longer again. I am above 70 but I am younger now.”
Another beneficiary, Bethel Oko-Jaja, thanked the management and staff of the indigenous oil company for the kind gesture to the people of Niger Delta and host communities in particular.
Oko-Jaja said: “We warmly thank the management and staff of Belemaoil Producing Limited and NNPC for their kind gesture to the good people of the Niger Delta and the host communities to Belemaoil Producing Limited. I must sincerely say there is a great difference between practical and theory.
“Today, Belemaoil has shown that commitment in ensuring that the people of Niger Delta and Nigerians are properly empowered for national development. This kind of gesture will not go unappreciated, if not by man, by God Almighty.
“Let me say that today, you have created the creeks and the canals; the water will flow. I want to say that God that made it possible for some of us to benefit today, will continue to protect Belemaoil.”