Dangote Cement Plc has continued to contribute positively to its host communities by supporting local initiatives with a lasting and meaningful impact on the people and the environment.
In a report titled, “The Dangote Way – Social Pillar,” it stated that Dangote Group social pillar centred around how to manage the company’s social impact on stakeholders and the larger society, and how to ensure that it gives back to the communities where it operate.
“In our host communities, we strive to support socioeconomic wellbeing through direct and indirect employment, skills transfer and capacity building, local entrepreneurial development and local vendors and contractors’ patronage.
“As our management approach, we also invest in social amenities and projects that are beneficial to local communities and improve the overall human capital development index. We believe in developing sustainable local economies and supporting governments in providing access to quality water, education, healthcare and public infrastructure,” the company pointed out.
In furtherance of its community youth empowerment scheme, Dangote Cement doled out multi-million naira educational scholarships just as it commenced training for the youths in 15 host communities of its Ibese Cement Plant in Ogun State.
No fewer than 115 students in various institutions received cheques for their scholarships in the annual scholarship award programme, while 30 others commenced skills acquisition training in tailoring and fashion designing coordinated by the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF).
Speaking at the opening of the empowerment training programme recently, Dangote Cement Ibese Plant director, Mr Azad Nawabuddin, explained that the company has made a lot of contributions to the socio-economic development of its neighbouring communities in the spheres of health, education and infrastructure, adding that community youth empowerment scheme is a key component of Dangote’s social investments.
According to him, Dangote Cement is committed to building the capacity of the people and institutions in the communities, particularly youths by identifying skill gaps and partnering to up their skills and make them self-reliant.
“215 youths across the 16 host communities which constitute Dangote’s key stakeholders have so far, been trained and empowered in different skills since the commencement of operations in Ibese with significant impact on the local economy.
“Our partnership with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) started in 2019 with the training and empowerment of 15 youths from the host communities on Catering and Event Management, while 50 youths benefitted from the Scheme in the specialised area of Acutherapy (Alternative Medicine) in 2020. Today, we are gathered to declare open, the 2021 training and empowerment programme on Tailoring and Fashion Designing for 30 youths who have been carefully selected from our host communities,” Nawabuddin stated.
The Dangote Cement boss pointed out that the commencement of the training coincided with the flag-off of the 2021 Dangote Sustainability Week in Ibese Plant, with the theme; “Building a sustainable future – the Dangote Way” noting that the sustainability activity is an employee volunteering programme, adding that the focus for this year is also the local communities. “All these are evidence of our passion for the standard of living and well-being of our stakeholders,” he said.
He urged the beneficiaries of the training programme to make very good use of the chance by paying rapt attention to details in class and asking questions to their facilitators whenever in doubt.
“Apart from reciprocating the good gesture of Dangote by ensuring peace at all times and keeping an open and trusting mind towards the organisation, we also desire from our community leaders and representatives who are present here, the ownership of all social investment programme, be it training or infrastructure because they are meant for the betterment of your people,” he said.
In the same vein, the area manager of ITF, Ogun State, Mrs Funmi Cooker commended Dangote Cement for the gesture to train the youths promising that the beneficiaries would get the best of training on tailoring and fashion designing which would serve as source of livelihood for them.
She stated that in line with the ITF strategy, the trainees would not just be trained and be left alone, explaining that “they are going to get necessary materials for startup after the completion of training. We are going to train them for three months and each of them will get a startup pack, after the training, we are going to give them sewing machine.”
She said, the year 2021 has been declared as a “Year of Skill Escalation for Prosperity” because the ITF management has realised that accelerated skill acquisition is the only way to stem the rampant unemployment especially among the youths because skill acquisition will alleviate poverty, youth restiveness, create jobs and wealth in the economy and country.
Cooker commended Dangote Cement for keying into the programme towards the development of its immediate environment, tasking other corporate organisations to emulate the good works of Dangote Cement in this regard.
Expressing the happiness of the communities with Dangote Cement in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the vice chairman of Ewekoro local government, Mr Olabode Sunkanmi thanked the management of Dangote Cement for the empowerment programme, saying it would go a long way in sustaining the youths and reducing unemployment.
Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46Mta capacity across Africa. It is a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer, with a production capacity of 29.25Mta in its home market, Nigeria. Obajana Plant in Kogi State, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.25Mta of capacity across four lines; Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta and Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta.
In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.5Mta import), South Africa (2.8Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta), Zambia (1.5Mta).