In what was akin to the Niger-Delta agitation over resource Control, the youths resident in Apapa have taken on the service providers operating in the Lagos ports over the need to allow them be part of opportunities accrued from the boundless resources within the local government area.
Apapa is home to two of the largest and most viable seaports in the country with combined contributions of over 70 per cent of the revenue accrued from nation’s maritime industry.
Apparently pissed off by the prolonged neglect from the terminal operators, shipping companies, Government agencies and other multi- national corporations plying their businesses in the area,
a body of youths under the aegis of United Apapa Youth Forum (UAYF), has threatened to disrupt port operations to register their grievances over what they described as snobbish attitude of the operators.
The body of youth numbering over one thousand lamented that maritime agencies, multinationals have the history of snubbing the youth of the community by failing to plough back into the community.
They alleged that the organisations have no record of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the youth of the community.
The youth called on the management of shipping companies, terminal operators, government agencies to ensure that at least a reasonable percentage of employment opportunity quota is given to the qualified youth of the community.
According to them, youth of the communities within seaport areas in the South South zone of the country enjoy such benefits and that Lagos should not be left out.
Speaking shortly after the distribution of hand sanitizers, nose masks and other palliatives to the less privileged in the community, Chief Victor Kolombus Nangibo, Grand Patron of UAYF said that the youth might be forced to take drastic decision that could disrupt port operations.
Nangibo also took a swipe at the officials of Local Government Authority for failing to carry the youths along over alleged compromise with some of the maritime institutions in the area of CSR.
“The reason we are sharing the nose masks, sanitizers and other palliatives we are trying to come up with is that when you see these companies around not performing their duties very well, then we need to assist the needy as a group in the community.
” I am a grassroot person and I know that it is necessary because the youth will be vulnerable to the pandemic.
“We decided to raise funds for ourselves because if we wait for these companies, this pandemic might kill us.
“We believe that this kind of situation will not be taken in other places but we are just advising that they should change their ways because they are compromising the Corporate Social Responsibility meant to be enjoyed by the youth.
“What we are seeing is that they are cutting corners with the Local Government because if we as the youth wrote to the companies and copied the Local Government chairman, and he cannot call our attention that he has seen our letter, it means he is compromising our requests. I mean that is a game play between the companies and the chairman because if you go to NPA, they will say they are doing this and that for the youth.
“Since 2013 when the forum was fully registered and approved by the Local government, we have not received any support in terms of human development.
“WACT in PH offers employment to Onne and Ipokiri youth and the way they operate in Onne is the way they should operate in Lagos.
“We know that if we disrupt their operations, we know how much the companies will lose. If they don’t want such crisis, they should consider how much they will lose.
“The situation will be uncomfortable for both the investors and the government .
On his part , President of UAYF, Comrade Abdullahi Suleiman, said the local government or companies might be sharing palliatives but such items are not extended to the youth of Apapa community.
He also alleged that the youth were not being carried along saying they only made provisions for their political allies.
“UAYF as a body has not benefited from them. The last time we went to Maerskline, they were telling us that they did something for the Council.
“We are enlightening our youth on how to be healthy and we are sharing sanitizers out to them and face masks at least to stop further spread of the pandemic”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, Chief Hakeem Ogbara, the Baale of Apapa community who was on ground to receive some of the items expressed satisfaction on the enlightenment of the youths, adding that they participated actively during the lockdown to reach out to the less privileged.
He said his office has been engaging some of the organisations to employ some of youths.
Ogbara urged the youths to work together and come up with a formidable force to engage themselves in the community in order to actualise their mission and vision.
The traditional ruler called on private and government organisations to encourage the youths in line with CSR
© 2020, https:. All rights reserved., Attribution and link to nigeriamaritime360.com is required if you wish to use any of the articles on this site