4th October, 2021
By Adejoke Adeleye
Dangote Cement has doled out educational scholarships to 115 students in various institutions in its annual scholarship award programme.
Dangote Cement in furtherance of its Community Youth Empowerment Scheme, awarded the multi-million Naira educational scholarships to students in Ogun State just as it commenced training for 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 skill acquisition training in Tailoring and Fashion designing coordinated by the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF).
Speaking at the opening of the empowerment training programme, Dangote Cement Ibese Plant Director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin explained that his company has made a lot of contributions to the socio-economic development of its neighbouring communities in the spheres of health, education and infrastructure, Community Youth Empowerment Scheme is a key component of Dangote’s social investments.
Nawabuddin said Dangote Cement is committed to building the capacity of the people and institutions in the communities, particularly the 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 specialized 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”, Mr. 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”.
He noted that “the sustainability activity is an employee volunteering programme, and I am pleased to announce that the focus for this year is also our local communities. All these are evidence of our passion for the standard of living and well-being of our stakeholders.”
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 from 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 organization, 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 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 in tailoring and fashion designing which would serve as a 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, “they are going to get necessary materials for startup after the completion of training. we are going to training them for three months and each of them will get a startup pack, after the training, we are going to give them sewing machines.”
She said the year 2021 has been declared as a Year of Skill Escalation for Prosperity because the ITF management has realized 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, therefore, commended Dangote cement efforts by keying into the programme towards the developments of its immediate society. She then tasked other corporate organisations to emulate the good work 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 sustain the youths and reduce unemployment.