Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Managent of Dangote Cement Plant, Ibese, Ogun State, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with youths of Ibese, Ilaro and adjoining host communities, to improve its community relations by fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and engaging more qualified youths from the communities.
The cement company also agreed to empower youths through various skills acquisition programmes, aimed at creating entrepreneurs in the host communities.
The signing of the MoU followed agitations by the Ibese and Ilaro youths that the company had failed to fulfil its CSR, especially on environment development.
Briefing newsmen after a meeting between the representatives of Dangote Cement and leadership of Yewa Youth Development Forum, Ilaro, at the weekend, the Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, said the meeting had become imperative to douse tension and foster relationship between the company and youths of the host communities.
The Commissioner said that the study of the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) report and CSR plans of the company showed that it adequately captured development plans for the host communities, urging the cement plant to constantly avail the youths with its CSR activities.
He added that the state government decided to broker a ‘peace’ meeting between the youths and the company, so as to forstall the breakdown of law and order in the axis, noting the meeting jointly agreed to work towards ensuring a peaceful environment through eight resolutions agreed upon by all parties present.
“The engagement today is premised on Yewa youths, basically in line with CSR that should be embarked upon by Dangote in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the company. The EIA I have with me shows that the company has actually complied; they have their EIA report well prepared and all those issues raised by the youths are well captured in their report.
“To douse the tension and agitation of the Yewa Youth Development Forum, Ilaro, Dangote Cement Plant, Ibese, is to prepare and submit an action plan in all issues that have been raised as they affect the youths and communities. It was also recommended that a central committee be constituted to constantly engage with the communities on quarterly basis and work with the local government and other government agencies, such as TRACE, police and other agencies to ensure that the reckless parking on the axis is curbed and then the trailers are properly parked.
“We also agreed that a meeting should be scheduled by Dangote, Ibese with the youths as soon as possible and thereafter ensure that the representatives of the youths be allowed to inspect some of the CSR projects undertaken by Dangote Cement around Ilaro axis. We also agreed that Dangote should put in place a deliberate effort to engage qualified youths from the communities as employment vacancies arise, continue to design empowerment and skill acquisition programs for the youths in the communities, continue to compensate accident victims which Dangote has been doing in line with the companies insurance policy.
“The company has also promised to be more transparent in the execution of all the resolutions that has been reached today and they also undertook to continuously engage the youths and the community in a more open and transparent manner”, Abudu-Balogun stated.
In thier respetive responses, the Head, External Relations, Dangote Cement, Ibese, Joseph Alabi and the Coordinator, Yewa Youth Development Forum, Ilaro, Bolu Salako, expressed their satisfaction with the resolutions taken at the meeting, saying that they would work together towards ensuring that all the resolutions reached at the meeting are implemented.