* Donates cash, power generating set, home appliances, etc to children, elderly
By Innocent Eteng
Homes for the needy, the motherless, and the elderly in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, usually filled with grief and want, came alive on Thursday, December 6, 2018, when the management of Eroton Exploration and Production Limited, stepped into them with relief items and other forms of intervention.
Eroton gave out support including cash, a power-generating set, home appliances and food stuff to three charities catering for children and the elderly across Port Harcourt.
Eroton is a joint venture with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the operation of oil Mining License 18 which until 2014 formerly belonged to Shell in the Cawthorne Channels and areas around Asoi-Toru and Buguma local council areas.
The donations were part of the JV’s “Give Back” campaign. The gifts were given to the benefiting charities by a team of NNPC and Eroton representatives on Thursday, December 6, 2018, during a tour to the three charities.
Port Harcourt Children’s Home, a childcare charity owned by the Rivers State government and run by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, was given a 22 KVA power generating set to help light up the centre whose existing generator was found to grow faulty regularly.
Compassionate Centre, a charity catering for handicapped children and run by the Religious Sisters of Charity, received a cash donation of N4 million in two separate cheques of N2 million each; while a deep freezer, a refrigerator, a five burner gas stove, 10 bags of rice, two bags of beans, four gallons of groundnut oil, a gallon of palm oil, several tubers of yam and a bunch of plantain were handed to the Home of the Elderly, which is run by the Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt, Camillus Archibong Etokudoh, and other three board members.
According to Eroton’s Head of Business Development, Dele Akiomare, the donations were Eroton’s response to challenges facing children and the elderly in society.
“We want children to be children. Children are supposed to enjoy life; they are supposed to enjoy the early days before they start taking up responsibilities,” he said.
During the presentation of the donations, being Eroton’s first in the give back campaign, he promised, on behalf of the NNPC/Eroton joint venture, that from henceforth, the company is going to render support to the children and elderly on a regular basis.
“So our mission is to ensure that during this period and going forward, we make their lives better. This is the first step and I promise, on behalf of NNPC/Eroton Joint Venture, we are going to continue this.”
“We are going to appoint somebody to monitor cases that would undergo scrutiny and whatever the need, going forward, we would, to the best our ability, provide.”
Apparently devastated after seeing the condition of children at the Port Harcourt Children’s Home, in his own personal capacity, promised to send up to N200,000 to enable a child who needed an eye surgery to get help. “I was (affected) by what I saw there because our children deserve a lot better support. The children I saw there, no child deserves that and this is the least we can do. A society that allows children to be in that state is not a decent society,” he said.
He urged the children to look beyond their disabilities, as such is rather an ability.
Meanwhile, the director of Child Welfare at the Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Samuel Wilson, thanked Eroton for donating the power-generating set.
“It (power generation) was a challenge, but it seems right now, NNPC/Eroton Joint Venture seems to have solved that. So we are very happy,” he said.
Responding to whether or not the home had a power generating set before now, he said: “We had a generator, not that we didn’t have, but you know an old thing is an old thing. It breaks down and we have to often repair it. “
Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt and the three directors at the board of the Port Harcourt Home for the Elderly, one of the directors, Eme Etim Akpan, said: “On behalf of His Lordship and other board members, we thank you most sincerely for looking around to identity that our culture would have dumped them in the village. We have been here for 40 years.”
She said unlike popular opinion that Nigerians are not noble, the kind gesture shown by the NNPC/Eroton joint venture shows that Nigerians are indeed humane and noble.