Dangote Fertiliser Empowers People Impacted by Pipeline Construction
As part of corporate social responsibility initiatives to support the livelihood of host communities across five Local Government and Local Council Development Authorities, impacted by its 54km gas pipeline to the plant, Dangote Fertiliser Limited, on Monday said it has embarked on empowerment of 150 “Project Affected Persons (PAPs),” through a cassava enterprises programme.
The five Local Government and LCDA include Ibeju Lekki, Lekki LCDA, Epe, Eredo and Ikosi.
The programme, according to a statement, is aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of the land acquired for the pipeline construction, whilst also supporting impacted farmers to improve farming practices in other to increase yield and income.
The programme, it continued, involves capacity building for farmers and potential entrepreneurs for by- products of cassava and cassava stems cells.
Recall that in 2019, Dangote commenced the installation of a 54km gas pipeline along the Epe axis of Lagos State, to transport gas to its fertiliser plant.
The pipeline Right of Way (RoW) impacted some communities, along with farmers whose farmlands and crops were affected. Lagos State Government in collaboration with DFL undertook the land acquisition process after which compensation was paid. To further support impacted farmers, DFL decided to embark on the Farmer Livelihood Support Programme.
Speaking at a ceremony where cassava stems, combobite processing equipment and weed control equipment were donated to the beneficiaries, General Manager, Human Asset Management, Dangote Fertiliser Limited, Akin Oladiran, stated that the company in partnership with Harvest Plus is working towards enhancing food availability across the communities.
According to Oladiran, “food is very important for survival. We understand some persons have been impacted as a result of the installation of the pipeline, but we want to ensure these impacts are addressed quickly.
“We want to eliminate the impact completely. We are also using this programme to further support the means of livelihood of Project Affected Persons.
“We are ensuring food sufficiency as well as creating wealth for every individual in the community.”
Continuing, he said the company is currently working on increasing the yields of farmers through the utilisation of fertiliser.
“If the soil yield is 80%, we are assuring you that before the next one month, we are going to bring a product that will increase the soil yield to 100%.
“The factory is at an advanced stage and we going into the production stage of our fertilizer.”
Chairman, Eredo LCDA, Adeniyi Rasaq, said 35% of workers in Nigeria are farmersm meaning that almost half of Nigerian population is into farming.
“Of the 33% of the landmass, about 55% of the area are yet to be cultivated. This means there is vast potential for grooming a lot of farmers and creating an image of a farming division.
“We want to be known for agriculture and tourism, and what Dangote is doing is not just CSR, he is also helping the division to discover its potential in farming and also helping us harness what we have which is land. We are the last to develop in Lagos. Dangote group is God sent.
“We want Dangote to lead change in this division. There are a lot of organisations apart from Dangote group, the question is what are they doing?
“If the factories and institutions situated in Epe are learning from what Dangote is doing, maybe our story will be different.
“Beyond giving these farmers expertise and competence and helping them understand revolutionary ways of farming, we also want Dangote to invest in infrastructure across this division,” Rasaq added.
Group Manager, Group Health, Safety, Social and Environment (HSSE), Dangote Industries Limited, Adenike Olaoye said the programme is already yielding results as some local entrepreneurs have already sprung up. The group, she added, is already exploring the option of partnering other investors in the Free Trade Zone to develop a robust integrated community development plan.
“We believe in developing the capabilities of local institutions within our host communities to enable them to drive their own development. We do not give our host communities fish, we teach them how to fish thereby ensuring sustainable development”. She further added that the organization already has a five-year community development plan, of which implementation started two years ago in Lekki, imploring communities to be patient as development takes time