By Ovie Okpare
Nigeria’s leading indigenous oil and gas company, Matrix Energy Limited, has empowered 67 widows with over N10 million in five Itsekiri communities of Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The gesture, according to the company, was to help the beneficiaries to cushion the effect of the ravaging coronavirus on their businesses as well as to help others to start their own small businesses.
The benefitting communities are Ifiekporo, Ubeji, Aja-Etan, Ikeren and Egbokodo-Itsekiri which are all host communities to the company.
Matrix Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Loqman Salam-Alada, speaking while presenting cheques to the beneficiaries at Ifiekporo in Warri South LGA of the state, noted that the gesture falls within the company’s corporate social responsibility.
Salam-Alada, represented by Matrix’s Head of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Mr. Fred Olomuro, reiterated the company’s commitment at promoting mutual relationship with her host communities.
He said each of the 67 benefiting widows would receive N150,000 to support their businesses and in turn support their families.
According to Matrix’s Chief Operating Officer, “As a company, we are mindful of the times and have decided to support the weak in our midst this day. One of which are the widows who are vulnerable.
“The company has decided to provide financial support of the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand naira (N150,000) to support the various trades these wonderful women are involved in. Our expectation is to see this financial support goes a long way to improve the lives of these widows. We truly look forward how your trade or business will grow and bear fruits that will sustain your family.
“We encourage all to take home business skills from the entrepreneurship awareness that will be presented. Money is only a good servant when put into good use. Money evaporates when not properly planned or invested wisely. There’s something each of us will learn this morning session.”
Salam-Alada pointed out that the company would continue to monitor the beneficiaries to ensure that the funds were put into judicious use by the women.
“Matrix Energy will ensure there is a follow-up mechanism that will monitor the progress of these business and trades. Those who performed will attract further support and those who fail to invest wisely many not be supported in future.
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I call on every beneficiary to invest wisely. We have played our part and do expect you to play your part. Opportunities like this has transformed small scale businesses. As a company, we request continual support and cooperation from our host communities.”, he added.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the chairman of Ifiekporo community, Mr. Peter Ede, commended the company for the gesture, saying the empowerment will no doubt lift many families from poverty if the funds were judiciously invested.
He said the community and other host communities would continue to support and provide enabling environment for Matrix Energy Limited to operate in the area.
Many of the beneficiaries who spoke at the event thanked the company and called on other tank farms in the area to emulate Matrix Energy while promising to put the money into their businesses.