Lafarge Africa Unveils Transformative CSR Projects, Hosts Community Day Events 

Fadekemi Ajakaiye 

In a grand celebration marking its 2023 Community Day, Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, has launched a series of impactful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects across its operational hubs in Ashaka, Gombe State, Mfamosing, Cross River State, and Ewekoro, Ogun State. This annual tradition underscores Lafarge Africa’s unwavering commitment to sustainable business practices and corporate citizenship in Nigeria.

Amidst cheers and applause, Lafarge Africa revealed a diverse array of CSR projects, each meticulously designed to address specific needs within the host communities.

In Ashaka, Gombe State, the company inaugurated a cutting-edge school infrastructure project in Lariski, Anguwan Kellumi, and Jauro Maza. Additionally, Lafarge Africa launched agricultural ecology projects, including the distribution of 900 bags of Urea/NPK for community farmers, and forged a partnership with NAERLS, ABU, Zaria, to establish demonstration farms and conduct sensitization programs. The community also received food palliatives for vulnerable and elderly individuals, scholarships for 50 students in Funakaya/Maiganga, and support for 200 students through the Grema Mustapha Scholarship scheme, each receiving N60,000.

Further interventions in Ashaka encompassed solar borehole drilling at Emir of Funakaye’s Palace Bajoga, Wuro Achama, Sharfuri Maternity, and Jalingo Ashaka. Lafarge Africa also committed to rural and community roads rehabilitation from workers village to Ashaka-Garri and Lariski and Sabon Gari Maza, Pindiga Emir’s palace chamber renovation, clinic conversion to doctors’ quarters, and medical outreach programs benefiting coal mining communities and Funakaye residents.

In Mfamosing, Cross Rivers State, Lafarge Africa commissioned the Solar Street Lights project at Akwa Ikot Effanga Community and Akpabuyo Local Government Area. The company provided educational support for 100 secondary and 40 tertiary students, provided NYSC support to host community schools, distributed over 10,000 exercise books, and supplied school desks while adopting school projects across host communities’ primary and secondary schools. Healthcare enhancements included equipping health centers with drugs in Abiati, Essien Town, and Akansoko, as well as constructing health worker lodges at Mfamosing community and training centers at Ekong Anaku. Community infrastructure projects involved building a town hall at Mbobui, equipping Kasuk training center with modern tools for fashion and design training, and providing portable water in Abiati, Diamond, and Essien Town. Moreover, Lafarge Africa contributed to community livelihood through food and business equipment donations to 150 elders and implemented an Agricecology palm fruits project across host communities.

In Ewekoro, Ogun State, Lafarge Africa spearheaded a groundbreaking transformational project, focusing on the construction of a 100-meter reinforced concrete road in Alagutan community. Other initiatives included the construction of Itori Magistrate Court Staff Quarters, culvert construction at Wasinmi Alafia, and an ongoing culvert construction at Olapeleke community. The company extended electrification services to the newly relocated Okeoko Egbado community, replaced a 330KVA transformer at Okeoko Sekoni and Akinbo communities, and trained and equipped 48 individuals from host communities to establish their businesses. Lafarge Africa also provided business equipment to 192 elders, granted bursaries to support 204 local students enrolled in public tertiary institutions, distributed educational materials to enhance learning standards in public schools, and distributed over 5,000 exercise books to primary and secondary schools in host communities. Healthcare improvements included supplying Papalanto Community Health Centers with essential equipment and medicines, furnishing Elebute Community Health Center Staff Quarters, erecting a fence around the community town hall, renovating and fencing Egbado Ajegunle Health Center, and conducting medical outreach programs.

The Community Day event drew the presence of esteemed government officials, community leaders, and members of the host communities, all eager to witness the positive transformations brought about by Lafarge Africa’s CSR initiatives. They commended the company for its commitment to the progress and development of their communities, expressing their support and commitment.  

Speaking at the Mfamosing celebration, the Deputy Governor of Cross Rivers State, Mr. Peter Odey, represented by the Head of Personal Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Chris Ojekpong, commended Lafarge Africa for its unwavering dedication to community development over the past 16 years. “Over the years, Lafarge, an outstanding beacon of commitment to sustainable and impactful community development has consistently demonstrated its dedication to making a positive impact beyond its realms of influence and profit making. On behalf of the government of Cross Rivers State I want to reiterate our dedication to providing enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”

At the Ewekoro event, Prince Bola Awesu, an indigene and community leader in Ewekoro also expressed gratitude for the transformative projects, emphasizing the lasting positive effects on the lives of their constituents. “Lafarge Africa has consistently supported our host communities, meeting our needs over the past 12-15 years. In healthcare, they provide facilities and initiatives that have benefited our people, and despite challenging climates, they continue to assist local farmers with essential farm implements. Years back we were given tractors to work on our land. Additionally, the company contributes to education through bursaries and scholarships, which has enabled the less privileged students to complete their studies. In Ewekoro, Lafarge has built a modern town hall and just yesterday commissioned the first secondary school in our vicinity.” According to him, this strategic placement eliminates the need for children in the community to travel long distances for secondary education, benefiting over 20 primary schools in the community. 

During the events, Lafarge Africa Plc.’s Managing Directo/CEO, Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, delivered a stirring speech reaffirming the company’s dedication to fostering sustainable growth in Nigeria. “At Lafarge Africa, community engagement isn’t just an obligation; it’s a deeply ingrained as one of our values in sustainability. Our annual Community Day Celebration is a testament to our dedication to giving back and nurturing sustainable development in the places we call home – Ashaka in Gombe State, Mfamosing in Cross River State, Sagamu in Ogun State as well as here in Ewekoro, Ogun State.”

Alade-Akinyemi appreciated various state governments, traditional rulers, and the Community Relations Committee for creating an enabling environment for the company’s business. He emphasized the importance of community collaboration and sustainable business practices, stating that Lafarge Africa remains steadfast in its commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices in Nigeria. “Our dedication to the communities we serve will continue to be a driving force behind our initiatives, ensuring that together, we build not just structures but enduring legacies of progress and prosperity.”

The transformative projects unveiled during this celebration are poised to leave a lasting legacy, fostering community development and reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices in Nigeria.

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