Amid pomp and pageantry, Dangote Cement, Ibese plant had, in December, rolled out the drum to celebrate members of its host communities.
It was an avenue to gather the stakeholders together and bond with the management of the pan-African cement company. The event was tagged ‘Community Day’. The high point of the celebration was the inauguration of multi-million Naira projects under its Community Empowerment Programmes with various beneficiaries including, youths, farmers, vulnerable women and students in attendance.
The royal fathers were not left out of the colourful event which has been dubbed as unprecedented, since the company berthed at Ibese, in the Yewa division of the Ogun state. The Community Day itself was in fulfilment of promises made by the Ibese Plant management months earlier during the signing of an enhanced Community Development Agreement (CDA) where the leaders of the host communities were promised of a more robust relationship through partnership that works.
Indeed, the Ibese Plant director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin described the event as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to continuous improvement of the relationship between Ibese Plant and its Host Communities.
He described the new improved CDA as a milestone in over 10 years of existence of Ibese plant, with the cardinal objective of celebrating and appreciating our primary stakeholders for granting us the social license to operate in a sustainable manner, while also taking stock of our imprints within the calendar year.
One of the traditional rulers that attended the Day, the Aboro of Ibeseland, Oba Rotimi Oluwaseyi Mulero thumbed up the management of Dangote Cement, for its unrelenting efforts at impacting their host communities positively describing the social performance profile of the company as very impressive.
He explained that with what Dangote Cement has been doing for the people, it behooves on the community leaders and all the residents to reciprocate and ensure peace reigns for the good of all so that the company can do more.
It was in continuation of service to the communities that the cement plant held a two-pronged event last week; the commissioning of the solar powered borehole in Abule Oke in Yewa North Local Government and the graduation of youths who have been undergoing training under the Youths Empowerment Programme of the Company.
Some 30 youths from some of the host communities graduated from the training programme put together by Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant as a way of transforming the society and providing employment opportunities for the youths. The empowerment programme which afforded the youths the opportunity to be trained on domestic electrical installation, wiring and maintenance was aimed at accelerating social and economic development of host communities and in line with the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal.
Beyond just giving the training to the youth, they were also presented with start-up tools for immediate commencement of their vocation after the training which was put in place by the Ibese Plant in partnership with Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
Speaking to the beneficiaries, at the closing ceremony of the programme, Ibese Plant director, the Dangote Cement, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin, described the empowerment initiative as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the continued socio-economic development of the host communities in line with the Community Development Agreement signed in 2022.
According to him, the company’s social development strategy does not support giving people fish to eat but focuses on teaching people how to fish saying the Company was being proactive by engaging the communities’ members, especially the youths with so much energy and vigour. Rather we empower them to be self-sufficient and self-reliant”.
Azad reeled out past empowerment initiatives of the Plant aimed at reducing unemployment gaps in the local communities and ultimately improving the standard of living, which include training in catering and event management, tailoring and fashion design and Acutherapy, from which 275 indigent youths have so far benefitted.
He commended the beneficiaries for their determination and zeal to learn new skills to better their lives, and urged them to apply the technical and entrepreneurial knowledge garnered during the training in building sustainable businesses, while committing to continued development of their skills and expertise in line with global trend.
The deputy area manager, Industrial Training Fund Abeokuta Area Office, Mrs. Funmi Coker, commended Dangote Cement Plc Ibese Plant for devoting resources to develop the capacity of the Youths in relevant trade areas to make them useful for themselves and their immediate communities. She further appreciated the Company’s consistent collaboration to achieve the Nation’s training objectives, while charging other corporate bodies to follow suit.
The vice chairman of the Community Joint Consultative Committee, Mr. Dayo Ogunyinka expressed delight for the firm’s annual empowerment initiative. He enjoined the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a life changing opportunity with the capability to take them to the pinnacle of success and ensure that the starter packs received are used for the intended purpose.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Elegbede Ganiyat, from Iboro host community, appreciated Dangote Cement for considering it worthy to invest in the development of the youths and described her experience during the training as enriching and everlasting. She assured that the beneficiaries have been well prepared to calve a niche for themselves in the electrical services market in their locality and beyond.
Meanwhile, the Cement company handed over a multi-million naira solar-powered bore hole to the people of Abule-Oke, a host community at a ceremony witnessed by the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Lukman Kuoye; the Baale of Abule Oke, Chief Ramoni Akinsanya other community leaders, youths, women and other indigenes.
Speaking during the hand-over, the Plant director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin emphasised the essentiality of water to the survival of humans and advised the community to make good use of the borehole facility and put up a framework to ensure its security, maintenance and sustenance as their equity contribution to the project.
The Olu of Imasayi commended the management of Dangote Cement for being the transformer illuminating the entire Yewaland, while acknowledging the commitment of the Company to improving the standard of living of people in its host communities.
He charged the people of Abule Oke to ensure that the borehole facility is sustained such that coming generations can benefit from the project, as only the judicious use of the facility can encourage the Company to invest more in infrastructural developments in the community.
The people of Abule Oke were full of gratitude to the company for the provision of the water facility, as expressed by the youth leader, Mr. Rafiu Akinola who declared that the intervention was timely and value adding, especially considering the fact that it is powered by Solar thus saving the community of the cost of fuelling and maintenance of generator.
Nigeria is Dangote Cement’s home market and where it started manufacturing cement in 2007. It has three fully integrated cement plants of 32.3 Mta located in Obajana, Ibese and Gboko as it plans to build new capacity in the coming years to meet Nigeria’s and West Africa’s growing demand for cement.
Its Ibese Cement Plant, 12.0Mta plant in Ogun State serves Lagos, the expanding South-West market, and also produces cement for export to nearby countries in West Africa. Commissioned with 6.0Mta of capacity in 2012, the plant was doubled in size in late 2014.
Source: Leadership Newspaper