Lafarge Africa Plc said on Wednesday that the company spent N661.63 million on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives across Nigeria in 2017.
Mrs Temitope Oguntokun, Head, Sustainability and Corporate Brand, stated this at a news conference on Lafarge Africa’s fifth National Literacy Competition (LANLC) in Lagos.
Oguntokun said the CSR initiatives cut across the company’s four cardinal points; youth empowerment, education, health and poverty alleviation/affordable housing.
She said close to 800,000 Nigerians were impacted across the country through the CSR initiatives of the company in 2017.
Oguntokun said N300 million out of N661.63 million was invested on various education initiatives to enhance the country’s literacy level.
She noted that education was a big pillar in the company’s CSR initiative through which it renovated so many schools during the period.
“When it comes to CSR, we are quite strategic and very careful in our approach because we want to be a social contributor across board,” she said.
Oguntokun said the CSR investments in Africa by LafargeHolcim stood at N2.4 billion in 2017 comprising investments in education projects, employment projects and infrastructure projects, among others.
Speaking on LANLC, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the company’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said the initiative was instituted in 2014 to bridge the literacy gap in the country.
Ambrose-Medebem said the company had received the endorsement of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, for the nationwide education intervention.
She said UBEC’s endorsement was in recognition of the remarkable contribution of the initiative to the development of literacy in the country’s primary schools.
Ambrose-Medebem said representatives from each state would be selected in a competition from Sept. 17 to 27 across the country.
She added that the regional competition would hold across the six geopolitical zones of the country in Abuja, Enugu, Cross River, Ogun, Kano and Gombe in October.
According to her, the grand finale of the 5th LANLC would hold on Nov. 15 in Lagos where winners would be rewarded.
She said the company in the past four years had been organising the National Literacy Competition to support government efforts in raising the standard of literacy among pupils in public primary schools between the ages of nine and 13 years.
According to her, the competition is organised in partnership with the respective State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEB in all 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT, with the support of Ovie Brume Foundation.
She, however, called on stakeholders to work together by embracing the initiative aimed at boosting the country’s literacy level by investing in future leaders.