BY Rosemary Iwuala.
Leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, has signed a new refined five-year Community Development Agreement (CDA) with its Ibese plant host communities as a demonstration of its commitment to human capital and infrastructural development of its host communities.
The agreement was signed in full glare of the public, with management of Dangote Cement’s Ibese plant saying the move was to underscore the company’s irrevocable commitment to the wellbeing of the residents in all the communities.
Azad Nawabuddin, Dangote Cement Ibese plant director, explained that the signing of the CDA is the beginning of a new dawn both for the company and the host communities in the execution of the laid-out social investment projects under the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
He said the gathering, which is in fulfilment of the provisions of section 116 of the Minerals and Mining Act 2007, and 193 of the Minerals and Mining Regulation 2011 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, demonstrates the company’s commitment to the development and overall well-being of its host communities and their people, as a responsible corporate entity.
“It also provides an opportunity to renew and refresh existing partnership between Dangote Cement and its major stakeholders in complementing the effort of the government in nation building,“ he said.
He recalled that Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant signed the first Community Development Agreement with its host communities in 2013, which marked the beginning of concrete infrastructural and social supports in the areas of employment, education, health, training and empowerment, road, potable water, electrification and so on, that have contributed immensely to improving the standard of living in the communities.
“The new CDA is an improvement as it is fashioned to surpass previous performance through positive impact on the various stakeholder groups, especially the vulnerable in our communities. In putting this together, we had applied all the lessons learnt during the implementation of the former and thoroughly engaged with the different stakeholder groups across the now seventeen (17) host communities, with the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel development,” Nawabuddin said.
“The document clearly states the consultative framework for engagements, grievance management and obligations of both the Plant and the host communities for mutual growth and development. It is clearly a path to define relationships, commitments, obligations and expectations with potential to address immediate concerns and future social issues that may arise in the course of the relationship between the Plant and our host communities, once all parties are committed to its full implementation,” he said.
He expressed the appreciation of the management to the royal fathers of the host communities who appended their signatures to the CDA, for the peace and tranquility in the communities which has helped the company to operate unhindered despite occasional disagreements that were quickly resolved in the best interest of all parties.
The traditional rulers, including the Olu of Aga-Olowo, Oba Kayode Adio Kusoro; the Olu of Imaseyi, Oba Lukmon Olalekan Adeleke Kuoye; the Aboro of Iboroland, Oba Daniel Abayomi Salako; the Awijako of Ijako Orile, Oba Mathew Alabi Ewedairo, and other community leaders took turns to comment on the CDA, especially on the transparent nature of the drafting and the public signing and expressed their satisfaction with the fresh agreement that will accelerate socio-economic development of their domains.
With the signing of the fresh agreement, each of the host communities will, within the next five years (2022-2026), be entitled to specific projects that will add value to the lives and livelihood of their people.
The ceremony, which was held at the Ibese plant of the company, also had in attendance Tukur Lawal, head community affairs and environment, Dangote Cement, a representative of the Minister of Mines and Steel, officials of Ogun State government, traditional rulers and baales of the host communities of Ibese, Iboro, Imasayi, Aga-Olowo, Onigbedu and Ijoko-Orile, etc, as well as members of the Joint Consultative Committee, women and youth leaders.