The West Africa Container Terminal in Onne, River State, said it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to promote cooperation and development in its host community of Ogu, Rivers State.
Announcing this in a statement on Sunday, the Managing Director of WACT, Naved Zafar, said the move will enhance peace and economic development of the community.
“This is a day I have passionately looked forward to for almost two years. Our journey started with a very humble beginning. We started operations with a very small team; no place of our own, not much of container business, but with a strong vision and commitment for the future.” he added.
Zafar said the success story of the terminals shows the importance of local community partnership in Nigeria.
“Looking at where we are now and what we have achieved, we can all be proud of it. That represents an incredible story of public-private and local community partnership in Nigeria, where international companies come and invest in a greenfield project, and based on that, develop an entire port ecosystem, promote Nigerian trade, and support the local community,” he said.
Zafar said over the past two and a half years, WACT has been on a transformation journey, which included enhancing relations with the host communities.
“We started our partnership, and to better cooperate and coordinate with each other, we brought in transparency, visibility, and inclusivity in our relationship of what we do together. As simple as this may sound, the work required to build this relationship on these three pillars was both exhausting and herculean. Gratefully, we have started recording huge results even before this day.” he added.
According to him, “The choice of building the community engagement on the pillars of transparency, visibility, and inclusivity is in strong alignment with our group’s purpose of improving life for all by integrating the world. At WACT, we are on a mission to make life better for our people, which does not end with our employees but also our stakeholders, which the good people of Ogu community stand tall,” Zafar said.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Ogu/Bolo Local Government, Vincent Nemieboka, commended WACT for bringing positive changes and development to the community.
Nemieboka, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Isaac William, assured WACT of the community’s cooperation and support.