Prominent traditional rulers in Yewaland in Ogun State have commended foremost entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, for establishing one of the biggest cement plants in the area; thus bringing development and economic emancipation to the people in the grassroots there.
The commendation came during the inauguration of several projects constructed by Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese, for its 14 host communities, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
The event was followed by the award of scholarships to 115 deserving host communities’ pupils and students in primary, secondary, and higher institutions across the country.
Some of the projects launched by the Cement Plant director, Azad Nawabuddin, amid singing and dancing by the locals, included blocks of classrooms, transformers, health centre, water projects, flood channels and boreholes, among others, all spread across the host communities.
Extolling the virtues of public spirit of Aliko Dangote, on behalf of the Olu of Aga Olowo, Oba Kayode Adio Kusoro and Olu of Onigbedu, Oba Matthew Ajibulu, the Olu of Imashayi, Oba Gbadebo Oni said the communities were lucky to be beneficiaries of Dangote’s large heart.
He described the siting of Dangote Cement plant in the area as a blessing and that through various CSR projects done by the company, the communities, which are rural, are now having facilities that were otherwise unattainable if not for the presence of Dangote Cement.
The monarch said the host communities were happy with the company’s handling of community issues, saying that Aliko Dangote deserved all the cooperation the entire Yewaland could muster for establishing the cement plant in their land and also taking care of the people and the communities.
The monarch said the scholarship was the best thing to happen to the host communities because the issue of quality education could not be quantified in monetary terms.
The scholarship, according to him, has offered a big relief to parents who had to struggle every time to ensure that their children’s school fees were paid, saying that they would forever be grateful to the management of the company.
The plant director, while presenting the scholarship to some of the awardees, said the scholarship has become an annual event meant to contribute to the educational development of the people in the area and to position them in right place in the scheme of things in Ogun State and Nigeria in general.
Nawabuddin urged the awardees to reciprocate the company’s gesture by facing their education squarely and shunning vices that could negatively affect them.
He added that the beneficiaries were carefully selected to reflect the composition of the 14 host communities by involving the community leaders in the entire process.
The Plant Director said the scholarship programme was a decision meant to encourage the young ones to go to school as a sure way of building them mentally and morally, so that they can be good to themselves and the society.
According to him, the scholarship award is one of the many social services the company has committed itself to and it continues to provide other social services as a way of giving back to the society within which it operates.
Dangote Cement Ibese Head of External Relations, Mr. Joseph Alabi, while giving the breakdown of the scholarship, said the award covered 115 students of Yewa origin studying various courses in several higher institutions across the country, as well as secondary schools scattered across Ogun State.
“In Dangote Cement, CSR projects to our communities is our watchword and focus. Giving scholarships, construction of roads and drainages, provision of transformers and other projects to connect communities to the national grid, among others are what we do every year.