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Dangote Cement marks Host Community Day with empowerment programmes

L-R: Assistant Director in the Ministry of Solid Minirals Development, Mines Environmental Compliance Department, Ochimana A. Matthew; Permanent Secretary, Ogun Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Aikulola Olu-Ola (representing the Ogun State Commissioner for Trade and Investment); General Manager, Dangote Packaging Ibese Plant, (DPL) Engr. Kizito Ugbaja; HRM, Oba Lukman Kuoye, Olu of Imosayi; HRM, Oba Kayode Adio Kushoro, Olu of Aga Olowo; HRM, Oba Daniel Abayomi Salako, Aboro of Iboro; Dangote Cement Ibese Plant Director, Azad Nawabuddin; HRM, Oba Rotimi Oluseyi Mulero, Aboro of Ibeseland with Some of Beneficiaries of Scholarship During the 2023 Community Day Celebration, in Ogun State Photos: Dangote Group

*Dangote Cement PLC says the company has increased its social interventions in regard to the prevailing challenging situations, as the Ibese Plant awards scholarships, empowers youths, women, farmers in the host communities

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant, has marked its 2023 Host Community Day in a grand style with the unveiling of four multi-million Naira empowerment schemes targeted at youths, women, farmers and students in the company’s host communities.

Dangote Group stated that the well-attended event attracted leading traditional rulers, women and youth leaders from the host communities.

The conglomerate noted that 103 indigent and brilliant secondary and tertiary institution students across the 17 host communities were given scholarship awards, and another set of 30 youths trained on shoe and bag-making were presented to the delight of the royal fathers.

Dignitaries with some beneficiaries of Farmers Empowerment Scheme at the 2023 Dangote Cement Plc Ibese Plant Community Day Celebration 

Likewise, the Management of Dangote Cement, Ibese, also presented 60 Weeding Machines procured for farmers to help them to clear their farms with ease, given that the communities are majorly agrarian and crop planting has been their means of livelihood, said the statement.

According to the company, 50 women selected from the host communities were also empowered with Deep Freezers to help them to cope with the prevailing economic challenge in Nigeria.

Same number of women were also gifted with ultra-modern grinding machines during the celebration of the maiden edition of the Community Day last year.

It is recalled the leading cement company had earlier intervened in a prolonged outage in some of the communities by procuring cables and other materials needed for the restoration of electricity to the affected communities.

Speaking on the occasion held inside the cement plant’s staff estate in Ibese, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin, Plant Director, stated that the company had stepped up its social interventions, given the prevailing challenging situation across the world.

Nawabuddin observed that businesses and families across the world, and in Nigeria have been confronted with socio-economic challenges in the year 2023.

The Ibese Plant Director also pointed out that a lot had happened to test the peoples’ and organisations’ resilience and innovation.

He, however, disclosed that Dangote Cement has been able to weather the storm and remain afloat mainly due to the unalloyed support received from the host communities.

Nawabuddin further explained: “The challenges notwithstanding, we are able to continue the upward trajectory in the delivery of our socio-economic development promises, in reciprocation and in line with our commitment to improving the overall wellbeing of our people.

“We have stepped up our social interventions in our host communities according to their needs and we will not shy away from making the people happy.”

The Plant Director restated Dangote Cement’s commitment to the wellbeing and development of its people through intentional empowerment programmes remain unwavering.

The Management of the company will continue to get better in its stride to fulfill the pact it has with the host communities, and to complement the efforts of the Government at improving the standard of living of the people, said he.

Dangote Cement’s social investments in 2023

According to

Reeling off some social investments carried out during the year, the Plant Director also said: “This year, we embarked on 23 social investment projects and revamped 10 non-functional CSR projects across the 17 host communities in line with the thematic focus of DCP’s Social Investments i.e., Education, Health, Infrastructure and Empowerment.

“We have so far recorded remarkable progress in their implementations.”

Nawabuddin described the scholarship programme as the oldest of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the plant.

He equally disclosed that the scheme, which started with 28 students, has grown to cover 103 tertiary institution students and 17 secondary school students on an annual basis.

According to him, the selected students enjoy scholarships up to graduation stage, after which the concerned communities supply replacements.

The Plant Director as well disclosed that total 989 Scholarships had been awarded under the scheme to date with many testaments to the positive impacts on the various communities.

Youths constitute critical stakeholder group in society

In regard to youth empowerment initiatives, the Dangote Cement top official opined that youths are regarded as a very critical stakeholder group in every society.

Nawabuddin, however, expressed regret that it has become impracticable for governments and businesses to meet the employment demands of all the youths.

The Plant Director stated: “Therefore, as a responsible organisation, Dangote Cement, Ibese annually trains and empowers Youths across the host communities in marketable trade areas, with various implementing partners since 2019.

“Host community Youths had been empowered in vocations such as Catering and Event Management, Acutherapy, Tailoring and Fashion designing, and Domestic Electrification in the previous years and that this year, no fewer than 30 youths selected from the 17 host communities are being trained on Shoe and Bag-making, with the Industrial Training Fund as the implementing partner.”

Farmers are not left out in the company’s empowerment programmes as Nawabuddin stated that they need support to take advantage of the available large span of arable land.

He noted that was why Dangote Cement Ibese procured 60 Weeding Machines for the farmer beneficiaries, “as it is becoming increasingly difficult to source labour from the neighbouring Benin Republic as was the usual practice.”

The farmers, he disclosed, have undergone one-day training on the usage and basic maintenance of the tool.

The Implementing partner, Equinox, which is locally sourced to promote local content, also offered to train specially two of the beneficiaries on the repair to guarantee sustainability, said he.

On women empowerment programmes

In respect of the decision to empower women, Nawabuddin explained that Dangote Cement Management recognised the important role women play in building families and by extension, the society.

He stated the company has provided a platform for regular engagement with women representatives of the Host Communities tagged ‘Women Assembly’.

The Plant Director noted: “This year, the company reached out to assess the needs of the women in our host communities and came up with the request for Chest Freezers to help our people start new businesses and expand existing ones.

“It is our joy that the proposal has now come to fruition. Fifty (50) lucky women have deep freezers to enhance their businesses.”

In his goodwill message, Oba Rotimi Oluwaseyi Mulero, Aboro of Ibeseland, thanked the Management of Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant, for its gesture in impacting their host communities positively.

The Royal Father said that the people are happy, and the company should not relent in its social interventions in the communities.

While describing the social performance profile of the company as very impressive, Oba Mulero stated with what Dangote Cement has been doing for the people, it behoves 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.

He also said: “Much as the people and community leaders are lauding the company for the giant strides in the host communities, I am also enjoining them not rest on their oars.

“We are still asking for more because all these projects can never be too much for the people.”

The Aboro of Ibeseland said: “Also, we want the Management to consider someone from the host communities to be appointed into Management position.

“In all, Dangote Cement has done excellently well, last year we were here when grinding machines were given to our women. “Today, it is freezers, the youths and the farmers are not left out, as well as scholarships for the indigent students.

“What can we say than pray to God to continue to help Dangote Cement grow more, so that they can do more.”

Social interventions are sort of relief to government -Commissioner

In his goodwill message, Adebola Sofela, Ogun State Commissioner for Trade and Investments, represented by Dr. Olu Aikulola, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, commended Dangote Cement for the various interventions in form of empowerment of the people.

The Commissioner described the gesture as a kind of relief to the state government.

Of note, according to Sofela, is the conflict resolution mechanism of the company, which he said has been very effective.

He advised the Management to sustain it, while describing the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote, as the most progressive entrepreneur in the country.

Much as the Dangote Cement is a blessing to the people, the Commissioner urged them to maintain peace because it is only in the atmosphere of peace that the company can thrive and help the people more, adding that the Ogun state government would be ready to assist should the need arises.

Oba Kayode Kusoro, the Olu of Aga Olowo, in an interview with reporters described the Community Day as a good one as it affords the people a good opportunity to bond with the Dangote Cement Ibese management and compare notes on the journey so far.

Ọba Kusoro stated: “The presence of Dangote Cement in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State has marked out the area as an industrial hub.”

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