In its bid to foster harmonious relationships with communities around its operational base, at Obajana, in Kogi State, Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, and two mining communities on Thursday sealed a renewed development pact as part of its intervention schemes in Kogi.
The five-year pact entered into at the Plant’s premises has been described as a “milestone” capable of transforming the economy of Kogi and Nigeria in general.
The mining communities, whose representatives jointly assented to the Community Development Agreement, CDA, pact are Oyo and Iwaa.
They all agreed that the pact would open doors for more job opportunities for locals and bring about rapid social and economic transformation of their communities.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite, who witnessed the signing of the agreement, said the Federal Government was glad that Dangote Cement Plc had finally fulfilled its obligations to the host communities.
Adegbite explained, “the CDA is in line with the 2007 Mineral and Mining Act of the nation”.
Represented by the Ministry’s Chief Geologist, Ntuimbe Etta, the minister assured, “the APC led administration will continue to facilitate a peaceful atmosphere between the company and its host communities”.
The Dangote Cement Plant Director, J.V. Gungune, said the massive support for the communities envisaged in the new CDA was in alignment with the company’s vision and mission of supporting its host communities.
Gungune said: “This five-year agreement will be implemented between 2022 and 2026 devoid of any failure.
“Our Group President, Aliko Dangote is very appreciative and proud of the support from all the communities, including the plant communities of Obajana and Apata.
“The content of the CDA will be implemented under the supervision of the mutually agreed Community Development Monitoring Committee.”
Also, Senior General Manager and Head of Environment and Community Affair of the company, Tukur Lawal, said “Dangote Cement plc is a socially responsible organisation.”
According to him, the company will continue to touch lives through the provision of basic infrastructure, especially to host communities.
Lawal described the two mining communities as “very peaceful, supportive, and business-friendly.”
He noted that the presence of the company had indeed brought about urbanisation and development to the communities.
“Only recently, the company completed the country’s longest concrete road between Obajana and Kabba.
“It’s also worthy of note that our (Dangote Cement Plc’s) annual tax remittances to the government hovers above N100 billion,” he further disclosed
The traditional ruler of Iwaa, Oba Francis Migbole, in his response, described the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, as a “God sent” to his community, whose joy knew no bound.
He recalled that in 2021, the company completed a multi-million Naira health facility for Iwaa mining community.
Also, the ruler of Oyo, Oba Solomon Obahawu, described the company as a blessing to his people and the generations yet unborn.
In her goodwill message, Director, Mineral and Ecological Services, Kogi, Atinuke Onimode, commended the company for living up to its social responsibility to the host communities and rescuing them from poverty.
Some of the areas of support itemised in the five-year Community Development Agreement include road infrastructure, education and scholarship, health, micro-credit and enterprise development.
Others are employment, vocational training, award of contracts, and the provision of start-up capital to businesswomen and youths among others.