The management of Dangote Cement Plc, at the weekend said it has, so far, trained and empowered 245 youths from 16 host communities of its plant in Ibese in different skills since it opened for operations.
This, according to Azad Nawabuddin, the plant’s director, has had significant impact on the local economy.
The statement by the Dangote Group, said the Ogun State Government commended the giant cement maker for the economic value it has been adding to the people and government of the state.
Speaking in Ibese during the distribution of starter packs to 30 trainees at the end of a three-month intensive tailoring and fashion designing training in partnership with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the plant Director said the exercise was in furtherance of the company’s Community Youth Empowerment programme designed to improve the economy of the local communities by making the able youths self-employed.
According to Nawabuddin, the successful completion of the programme marked another milestone in the journey of community investment by Dangote Cement Plc asvits contribution towards the long term improvement of the local communities by delivering and sustaining value to them.
He said “the 30 beneficiaries have joined the league of self-employed in our locality. These carefully selected male and female entrepreneurs have undergone intensive training in Tailoring and Fashion designing for three months, under the tutelage of the Industrial Training Fund and are receiving their certificates and startup packs, and by extension, their means of livelihood.
Continuing, he said “this empowerment programme is another demonstration of the commitment of Dangote Cement Plc. Ibese Plant, to improving the social-economic condition of the neighbouring communities. We are committed to continuous implementation of impactful social investments that will eradicate poverty and improve the standard of living in our host communities.”
He explained that the Ibese plant has carefully designed its youth empowerment scheme, realising that government and the private sector alone cannot meet fully the employment expectations of the youths, especially in a densely populated and youth dominated country like Nigeria.
“The most plausible alternative therefore, is for the youths to acquire adequate skills in various trades to become entrepreneurs and self-dependent. This programme is therefore timely and most auspicious as its intended impact cannot be overemphasized.”, he added.
The Dangote Cement boss recalled that that so far 245 youths from the Ibese Plant’s host communities have been trained and empowered in different skills since the commencement of operations in Ibese with significant impact on the local economy.
He stated that Dangote Cement did not just stop at training only but also providing the trainees with tailoring materials including machines and other materials needed for them to start off immediately and become their own boss.
Nawabuddin urged the graduands to make effective use of the great opportunity given to them to become entrepreneurs and by implication employers of labour by hitting the ground running.
“You should be focused and ensure you harness the full benefits of the skills gathered during the programme. The world is dynamic, I therefore urge you to always keep tab on latest developments in Tailoring and Fashion Designing to remain relevant for a long time to come and imbibe the spirit of continuous learning, unlearning, and relearning.
“Community Leaders and Representatives here present, I want to also congratulate you for selecting the best among your teeming youths for this programme, as reflected in the way and manner they comport themselves during the training. I urge you to continue to provide necessary support that will aid the growth of their trade as well as improvement of their lives and the society in general.
“At Dangote, we are committed to implementing more meaningful programmes that will uplift our people while hoping that you will reciprocate this good gesture by contributing your quota towards the good of the organization as well as ensuring peaceful coexistence.”
While presenting certificates to some of the trainees, the Ogun state Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperatives, Hon. Hamzat Ganiyu lauded Dangote Cement for its numerous programmes which have helped the state government’s policy on economic empowerment for the youths in the state.
He said the ball was now in the courts of the beneficiaries too turn the opportunities given them by Dangote Cement to be so trained and given machines to start off the business at once saying the Company has done all that is necessary to give the trainees and their immediate families a means of livelihood.
Hamzat called on other business organizations in Ogun state to emulate Dangote Cement and help reduce youth unemployment and poverty at the local community level through worthwhile social investments.
The state government he promised would continue to provide conducive environment for businesses to thrive as the private sector plays key role in the economic emancipation of the people of the state.
In her speech, the head of ITF, Abeokuta Area Office, Mrs. Funmi Coker congratulated the beneficiaries of the training programme saying they are lucky to be part of it as they now have a visible means of livelihood for themselves and their relations.
She commended Dangote Cement for being a worthwhile partner which is desirous of impacting positively on the people in its host communities its and urged the youths to make use of the knowledge impacted unto them during the training more so when they have instrument to work with.
Photo caption: Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant Director, Azad Nawabuddin, Ogun state Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperatives, Ganiyu Hamzat, Dangote Cement PLC Ibese Plant, General Manager, Human Assets Manager/ Admin, Abu Sufyan, One of the Beneficiaries, Odeyemi Dolapo, receiving her Start -Up Pack and Certificate, During the Closing Ceremony of Dangote Cement Plc Ibese Plant, Host Communities Youths Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Program, held in Ibese Cement Plant Ogun state at the weekend