Dangote Cement has awarded multi-million naira educational scholarships to over 115 students, while training 30 others on skill acquisition in tailoring and fashion designing in 15 host communities of its Ibese cement plant in Ogun State.
The students in various institutions received cheques as bursaries in the company’s annual scholarship award programme, as the skill acquisition programme will be coordinated by Industrial Trust Fund (ITF).
The move was in furtherance of the company’s contributions to the socio-economic development of its host communities in health, education and infrastructure.
Speaking at the training programme, plant director, Dangote Cement Ibese, Azad Nawabuddin, Dangote Cement is committed to building the capacity of the people and institutions in the communities, particularly youths by identifying skill gaps and partnering to sharpen their skills and make them self-reliant.
According to Nawabuddin, “215 youths across the 16 host communities who constitute Dangote’s key stakeholders have so far, been trained and empowered in different skills since the commencement of operations in Ibese with significant impact on the local economy.
“Our partnership with the ITF started in 2019 with the training and empowerment of 15 youths from the host communities on catering and event management, while 50 youths benefitted from the scheme in the specialised area of Acutherapy (alternative medicine) in 2020. This time, we are gathered to declare open, the 2021 training and empowerment programme on tailoring and fashion designing for 30 youths who have been carefully selected from our host communities”, he said.
The Dangote Cement boss pointed out that the commencement of the training coincided with the flag-off of the 2021 Dangote sustainability week at the Ibese plant, with the theme “Building a sustainable future – the Dangote Way” noting that “the sustainability activity is an employee volunteering programme, and I am pleased to announce that the focus for this year is also our local communities. All these are evidence of our passion for the standard of living and well-being of our stakeholders.”
He then urged the beneficiaries of the training programme to make good use of the opportunity by paying attention to details in class and asking questions from your facilitators whenever in doubt.
Also the Area Manager, ITF in Ogun state, Funmi Coker, lauded Dangote Cement for the gesture to train the youths promising that the beneficiaries would get the best of training in tailoring and fashion designing which would serve as a source of livelihood for them.
She stated that in line with the ITF strategy, the trainees would not just be trained and be left alone, “they are going to get necessary materials for startup after the completion of training. we are going to training them for three months and each of them will get a startup pack, after the training, we are going to give them sewing machine.”
She said the year 2021 has been declared as a Year of Skill Escalation for Prosperity because the ITF management has realised that accelerated skill acquisition is the only way to stem the rampant unemployment especially among the youths because skill acquisition will alleviate poverty, youth restiveness, create jobs and wealth in the economy and country.
Coker therefore commended Dangote cement efforts by keying into the programme towards the developments of its immediate society. She then tasked other corporate organisations to emulate the good work of Dangote Cement in this regard.
Expressing the happiness of the communities with Dangote Cement in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the vice-chairman of Ewekoro local government, Olabode Sunkanmi thanked the management of Dangote Cement for the empowerment programme, saying it would go a long way in sustain the youths and reduce unemployment.