Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc
By Crusoe Osagie
Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc received various awards for excellence from different stakeholders and organisations in the past year as a result of its contributions to the development of the Nigerian society and in cement manufacturing in the country, the company has said.
The awards span different keys areas in which the company has made significant impact including the health and safety sector, where Lafarge came top as the Best Risk Management Business Unit among the 64 countries of the Lafarge Group at the Annual Global Cement Awards Competition.
According the Lafarge, the award came on the heels of a thorough implementation of Health and Safety Risk Management during the construction of Lafarge WAPCO’s new 2.5 million metric tonnes state-of-the-art Plant, Ewekoro II, with a landmark safety record of eleven million man-hours with just five (5) lost time incidents (LTIs).
In the same vein, the Nigeria Consultative Employers Association (NECA), an umbrella body for all employers, also honoured the organisation in November 2012 as the winner of the NSITF-NECA Workplace Safety Award.
The Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Osinowo, during the presentation of an Ambulance Prize at its NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos, commended the company for its strong and consistent Health and Safety practices at the work place.
During the prestigious 2012 Annual Pearl Award Ceremony for quoted companies held at the Oriental Hotel in December, the company emerged as the Highest Dividend Growth Stock for the Year in the Market Excellence Award category. The award is an indication of the fact that Lafarge Wapco remains an investors’ delight, bringing values to shareholders and stakeholders.
For its strong social responsibility stature, two reputable professional organisations in the construction sector: the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE) at different events also recognised the company for its tangible contributions to the development of the construction sector.
The NSE awarded Lafarge Wapco with the Presidential MERIT Award of High Level of Corporate Social Responsibility while NIStructE conferred the company with an Award of Excellence.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the President of NIStructE, Dr. ‘Busola Awojobi, said “this award is given to you as a recognition of your massive contributions to economic and social development of the country through your consistent and qualitative supply of construction materials since the country’s independence”.
The Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in collaboration with UNIDO also presented the company with a Recognition Award for its role and contributions to the industrial Development in Nigeria during the Africa Industrialisation Day (AID) Commemoration ceremony, which was held on November 20, 2012 in Abuja.
At the community front, the Sagamu Development Association (SDA), the umbrella body for Sagamu indigenes conferred on the company the Sagamu Distinguished Corporate Business Award (SDCBA).The award, which was given during the 3rd Annual Merit Award Ceremony of the association, makes Lafarge Wapco the first and only corporate entity that has received such award.
According to the SDA Award Committee Chairman, Prof. Tola Osilesi, “the award is to genuinely appreciate the company’s contributions to the unity, progress and development of Sagamu community through its Corporate Social Responsibilities activities”.
In a similar vein, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council, at its annual Ogun NUJ Week and Award of Excellence in Abeokuta in December, 2012 gave the company an award for the Best Media Supporting Corporate Organisation.
This is in addition to another award as the Best Cement Company of the year (for the second year running) by the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) during the organisation’s fourth Annual Crystal Nite Award Ceremony in July 2012.
Commenting on the various recognitions the company has received, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Joe Hudson, said, “In today’s rapidly changing economic and market landscape, the key to business success is not only what you sell, but the impact you make on society.”
Continuing, Hudson said, “as a premium cement company, our true leadership traits has endeared us to our communities, customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders who, as way of showing appreciation, have honoured us for our modest contributions to the society. This is the Lafarge’s spirit and we shall continue to keep the flag flying.”
Lafarge as a Group has supported sustainable development for many years and is now taking steps further by expanding its targets in the area of social, economic and environmental impacts.
In 2012, the Group has entered a new phase in its commitment to operating in a sustainable way with the launch of the Ambitions 2020. 34 ambitions have been set, coupled with demanding quantitative targets - organised around the three main pillars of sustainable development - social, economic and environmental - in various areas.
These include: Contributing to the Development and the Working Environment through Health & Safety, Diversity, Volunteering, Local job creation; building the Circular Economy through a business model that uses fewer resources and encouraging recycling and recovery of waste; Building Sustainably through affordable and sustainable housing initiatives and the provision of sustainable products and services.