|Chairman Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.|
No fewer than 245 youths from Dangote Cement Ibese Plant’s 16 host communities have been trained and empowered till date in different skills since the commencement of operations in Ibese with significant impact on the local economy.
This disclosure by the Plant’s Director, Azad Nawabuddin came just as the Ogun state government commended the organization for the economic value it has been adding to the people and government of the state.
Speaking in Ibese during the distribution of started packs for 30 trainees at the end of a three-month intensive tailoring and fashion designing training for youths from its host communities in partnership with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the Ibese plant Director said the training 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 training programme marked another milestone in the journey of community investment by Dangote Cement Plc. with the cardinal objective of contributing towards long term improvement of the local communities by delivering and sustaining value to them.
He said “the thirty 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.
According to him; “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.”
The Plant Director explained that the Dangote Cement, Ibese has carefully designed its youth empowerment scheme, knowing fully 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 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 provided the trainees with tailoring materials including machines and other materials needed for them to start off immediately and become their own boss. Quoting a Russian writer, Anton Chekhov, who once said ‘’knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice’’ Mr. 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 the 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 co-existence.”
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.
Hon. 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 a 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.