As part of part its Educational Support programme under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Dangote Cement Plc, at the weekend commissioned and handed over several multi-million naira rehabilitated educational infrastructure in Lagos Island, Lagos State.
The projects, expected to benefit over 2,500 pupils, included installed 5kva Solar Power source to power the ICT centers at Kuramo Junior College, Victoria Island; Victoria Island Senior school, Victoria Island, and Girl’s Senior Secondary School, Obalende, Lagos, while the Cement company also rehabilitated and equipped with furniture, the school library of Girls Junior Secondary School, Obalende. It also renovated and equipped with furniture and bookshelves the staff room of Kuramo Senior college, Victoria Island.
Group Managing Director, Dangote Cement, Mr Arvind Pathak speaking at the commissioning said the projects were part of the company’s Social Investment Program designed to contribute to society’s well-being in the areas of Education, Health, Economic empowerment, and Infrastructural development.
Pathak who was represented by Pan Africa Regional Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Marie Christiane Kaul, said the interventions were targeted at some selected projects, especially schools within the neighborhood of the Dangote Cement Plc Head Office, Ikoyi Lagos.
She said, “the choice of these projects was arrived at on need basis through a participatory process of engagement with the schools. Each of the schools identified the most pressing need which were then jointly scoped for execution. We especially thank the TG/PS for granting our request to execute these interventions in the six schools that are all under her authority.”
She explained that as a responsible corporate citizen, Dangote Cement, ensures that every year, its cement plants in Nigeria and across Africa executes various developmental projects and programs to improve the quality of life of neighboring and host communities.
“As a company, we believe that the onerous task of providing quality education to our teaming youths cannot be over emphasize and should not be left to government alone. As education is the bedrock of any meaningful development, as a going concern, we believe in partnership with the government to deliver quality education to our teeming youths. We shall therefore continue to complement the efforts of the various levels of government to improve the quality of life of our people in the four thematic areas earlier identified, she added.
She noted the projects are expected to benefit more than 2,500 students currently studying at these schools while adding that the interventions aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal number 4, which is aimed at ensuring an inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The provision of sustainable energy is also aligned with SDG Goal 7 which is aimed at the provision of access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and clean energy for all.
The Dangote Cement boss said, “as a responsible organization, we shall continue to compliment efforts of the government in creating a conducive learning environment for students and a good teaching environment for staff. I call on the beneficiaries of these projects to make the best use of the facilities and protect them so that they can serve the purpose for which they are provided for a reasonable length of time.”
Tutor General and Permanent Secretary, Education District 3, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Idowu Olufunke Oyetola, in her remark thanked the management of Dangote Cement for company’s intervention in the provision of educational infrastructure. She said that Dangote Cement’s gesture aligns with Lagos State Government’s policy of leveraging Public Private Partnerships in the upgrade and provision of educational infrastructure. She charged the teachers and students to make good use of the facilities.
In his own response, the Principal, Kuramo Senior College, Lawal Babatunde, thanked the management of Dangote Cement for selecting his school as one of the beneficiaries of the intervention. He said the gesture has helped to create a more comfortable staff room for the teachers.
Also speaking in an interview, Group Head, Social Performance, Wakeel Olayiwola described the project as critical and that other projects are under construction for various educational institutions across the country as the company is committed to lifting communities withing which it operates.
He explained that the Company usually go into Community Development Agreement (CDA) with its host communities, which spans every five years spelling out projects and interventions to be made in the communities on need basis because government alone cannot provide all the needs of the people, so we compliment government efforts by intervening with provision of infrastructure.
By Lekan Olofinsusi