Breaking New Grounds

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The Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser Plants are breaking new grounds in community development, writes Ugo Aliogo

The Dangote Oil Refining Company and Dangote Fertiliser Limited have taken Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to another level through various social investments within the host communities around Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.

Interestingly, as a project, the two companies were able to undertake activities that significantly support the improvement and enhancement of the living standards of the people in their host communities.

The complex has installed 14 boreholes in its host communities between 2017 and 2018 and also conducted regular laboratory tests to ensure the water from the boreholes are potable.

Dangote believes that quality education is the passport to the future and that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. It has displayed interest in the development and empowerment of local youth through interventions such as the award of scholarships to 50 students selected across its host communities.

Dangote Oil Refining Company and Fertiliser Limited CSR initiatives were felt recently in Ibeju-Lekki Communities when the sister-companies successfully graduated 200 youths in various skills acquisition programmes as a way of transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths.

Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser plants also embarked on diverse initiatives aimed at developing the local institutions within their host communities to enable them drive their own development initiatives.

In 2019, the companies held a Teachers’ Training Workshop for teachers within the host communities in Ibeju-Lekki and Epe in conjunction with Lagos State Ministry of Education, to develop the capacities of public school teachers to teach more effectively using 21st Century modalities.

For example, to help alleviate poverty in its host communities, Dangote Fertiliser Limited (DFL) empowered 150 farmers on cassava enterprises with hybrid cassava stems.

The programme, which is being implemented by external consultants, HarvestPlus in conjunction with the DFL Social team, involves capacity building for farmers and potential entrepreneurs for farming.

Agro-enterprise has also been set up where improved cassava stem bundles were delivered to farmers for planting. Weed control task force has been put in place as well as the establishment of cassava combobite chips’ processors for the beneficiaries.

One of the heights of the company’s social responsibility programmes was recorded recently when it handed over classroom blocks to the Lagos State Basic Education Board (SUBEB), which is expected serve the Abejoye host community in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos.

According to the Dangote Fertiliser management, the classrooms, built as part of the CSR efforts of the company, was to serve as replacement for the Abejoye Primary School, which incidentally was part of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) area allocated to Dangote Fertiliser Limited, but relocated to Abejoye community, consisting of staff rooms, head teacher’s office, toilet facilities, power generator and a borehole.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Lagos, Group Executive Director, Strategy Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin pledged the company’s continuous commitment to the provision of quality education, not only within the host community, but also in the country at large.

According to him, Dangote’s support for educational development involved assisting host communities to provide sustainable and qualitative education that would ultimately reach all the people.

Speaking further, he noted that the company is currently working on increasing the yields of farmers through the utilisation of fertiliser.

He said, as a socially responsible organisation and understanding the impact of project-induced migration on communities, the company organised a project induced InMigration (influx) workshop to sensitise its hosts on the impact of influx and issues related to influx, and it is currently supporting the communities to monitor in-migration into host communities.

The Executive Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, who was represented at the event by the Director of Projects Department, Mrs.
Ebaide Omokore, appreciated Dangote Fertiliser for funding the project, stating that the state government was committed to delivering all-inclusive, quality basic education in a conducive environment for learning aided by technology.

Also, speaking at the event, Chairman, Lekki Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, Ogidan Olaitan, commended Dangote Fertiliser Limited for the gesture, saying Dangote Fertiliser has proven to be a socially responsible company, which has the interest of the community at heart.

Speaking at the recent handover of cassava stems and farming equipment to farmers in Epe, Lagos, General Manager, Human Asset Management, Dangote Fertiliser, Akin Oladiran, stated that the company in partnership with HarvestPlus is working towards enhancing food availability across the communities.

“Food is very important for survival. We understand some persons have been impacted as a result of the installation of the pipeline, but we want to ensure these impacts are addressed quickly.

We want to eliminate the impact completely. We are also using this to provide means of livelihood. We are ensuring food sufficiency as well as creating wealth for every individual in the community,” he said.

According to Oladiran, “If the soil yield is 80 per cent, we are assuring you that before the next one month, we are going to bring a product that will increase the soil yield to 100 per cent. The factory is at an advanced stage and we going into the production stage of our fertiliser.”

The Group Social Specialist, Group Health, Safety, Social and Environment (HSSE), Dangote Industries Limited, Adenike Olaoye said the company is already working to bring in other investors into the zone to have an integrated community development.

“We believe in institutions’ development, we have a five-year community development plan of building institutions and training. Development takes a lot; please be patient with us, we will continue to build this region,” Olaoye added.