In its bid to improve community relations in host communities, the management of Dangote Cement Plant has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with youths in Ibese, Ilaro and adjoining communities in Ogun State so as to engage more qualified youths into its system.
The company would also empower youths through various skills acquisition programmes, aimed at creating entrepreneurs in the host communities.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Hon Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, while briefing journalists after a meeting between the representatives of Dangote Cement and the leadership of Yewa Youth Development Forum, Ilaro, said the meeting became necessary following agitations by the Ibese and Ilaro youths that the company had failed to fulfil its CSR, especially on environment development.
Abudu-Balogun urged the company to always avail the youth with its CSR activities, submitting 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.
“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 youth 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 youth 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 youth as soon as possible and thereafter ensure that the representatives of the youth 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 youth 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 have been reached today and they also undertook to continuously engage the youth and the community in a more open and transparent manner,” Abudu-Balogun stated.
The Head, External Relations, Dangote Cement, Ibese, Joseph Alabi and the Coordinator, Yewa Youth Development Forum, Ilaro, Bolu Salako, in their responses 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.