No fewer than 30 youths from communities around Ibese in Ogun State have graduated from a training programme put together by Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant, as a way of transforming society and providing employment opportunities for the youths.
The empowerment programme which afforded the youths the opportunity to be trained on domestic electrical installation, wiring and maintenance is aimed at accelerating social and economic development of host communities and in line with the United Nation Sustainable Development Goal.
In the same vein, the cement plant commissioned a solar-powered Borehole in Abule Oke in Yewa North Local Government, Ogun State, in fulfilment of its promises made to the communities during its Community Day celebration last December.
The youths were also presented with start-up tools for immediate commencement of their vocation after the training which was put in place by the Ibese Plant in partnership with Industrial Training Fund, ITF.
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Addressing the beneficiaries at the closing ceremony of the programme, the Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant Director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin, described the empowerment initiative as a demonstration of the company’s commitment to the continued socio-economic development of the host communities in line with the Community Development Agreement signed in 2022.
According to him, the company’s social development strategy “does not support giving people fish to eat but focuses on teaching people how to fish, saying the company was being proactive by engaging the communities members, especially the youths with so much energy and vigour.
“Rather we empower them to be self-sufficient and self-reliant,” he said.
Mr. Azad reeled out past empowerment initiatives of the plant aimed at reducing unemployment gaps in the local communities and ultimately improving the standard of living, which include training in catering and event management, tailoring and fashion design and Acutherapy, from which 275 indigent youths have so far benefitted.
He commended the beneficiaries for their determination and zeal to learn new skills to better their lives, and urged them to apply the technical and entrepreneurial knowledge garnered during the training in building sustainable businesses, while committing to continued development of their skills and expertise in line with global trend.
The Deputy Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund Abeokuta Area Office, Mrs. Funmi Coker, commended Dangote Cement Plc Ibese Plant for devoting resources to develop the capacity of the youths in relevant trade areas to make them useful for themselves and their immediate communities.
She further appreciated the company’s consistent collaboration to achieve the nation’s training objectives, while charging other corporate bodies to follow suit.
Mr.Dayo Ogunyinka, the vice chairman of the Community Joint Consultative Committee also expressed delight for the company’s annual empowerment initiative.
He enjoined the beneficiaries to see the gesture as a life changing opportunity with the capability to take them to the pinnacle of success and ensure that the starter packs received are used for the intended purpose.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Elegbede Ganiyat, from Iboro host community appreciated Dangote Cement for considering it worthy to invest in the development of the youths and described her experience during the training as enriching and everlasting.
She assured that the beneficiaries had been well prepared to carve a niche for themselves in the electrical services market in their locality and beyond.
Meanwhile, the cement company has handed over a multi-million naira solar-powered bore hole to the people of Abule-Oke, a host community at a ceremony witnessed by the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Lukman Kuoye; the Baale of Abule Oke, Chief Ramoni Akinsanya other community leaders, youths, women and other indigenes.
Speaking during the hand-over, the Plant Director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin, emphasised the essentiality of water to the survival of humans and advised the community to make good use of the borehole facility and put up a framework to ensure its security, maintenance and sustenance as their equity contribution to the project.
The Olu of Imasayi commended the management of Dangote Cement for “being the transformer illuminating the entire Yewaland’’, while acknowledging the commitment of the company to improving the standard of living of people in its host communities.
He charged the people of Abule Oke to ensure that the borehole facility was sustained such that coming generations could benefit from the project, as only the judicious use of the facility could encourage the company to invest more in infrastructural developments in the community.
The people of Abule Oke were full of gratitude to the company for the provision of the water facility, as expressed by the youth leader, Mr. Rafiu Akinola, who declared that the intervention was timely and value adding, especially considering the fact that it was powered by solar, thus saving the community of the cost of fueling and maintenance of generator.