To meet the yearning of its host communities’ quest for quality education by way of provision of teaching materials and conducive environment, Dangote Fertiliser Limited has constructed and handed over to the Lagos State Basic Education Board a multi-million Naira modern block of classroom and other infrastructures.
The donation of the school, which is meant to serve the Abejoye community in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, is coming on the heels of provision of empowerment to farmers in the area, whose lands fall into the area taken over by the state government and designated as part of the free trade zone.
According to the Dangote Fertilser management, the classrooms, built as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility efforts of the company, is to serve as replacement for the Abejoye Primary School, which incidentally was part of the free trade zone area allocated to Dangote Fertiliser Limited, but relocated to Abejoye community, consists of staff rooms, head teacher’s office, toilet facilities, power generator and borehole.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Lagos, the Group Executive Director, Strategy Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, pledged the company’s continuous commitment to the provision of quality education, not only within the host community, but the country at large.
According to Edwin, Dangote’s support for educational development involves assisting host communities to provide sustainable and qualitative education that ultimately reaches all the people.
This, he said, involves active consultation with the host communities stakeholders at stages of development planning, implementation and evaluation.
He said: “We, as a company, believe that education is the passport to the future and that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
“We are keen to develop, educate and empower local youth and we are achieving these objectives through various interventions such as the award of scholarship to 50 students selected across our host communities as well as the training of 200 young people in several vocational skill areas such as plumbing, electrification, carpentry, welding and others.
“The second phase of this training programme commenced in September and we are training another batch of 200 local youth draw from different communities covering Ibeju-Lekki and Epe Local Government Area.”
Edwin disclosed that the company embarked on diverse initiatives aimed at developing the local institutions within its host communities to enable them drive their own development initiatives.
He said: “Currently, we have installed 14 boreholes in our host communities between 2017 and 2018 and we conducted regular lab tests to ensure the water from the boreholes are potable.
“In 2019, we held a Teachers Training Workshop for teachers within the host communities and Epe in conjunction with Lagos State Ministry of Education, to develop the capacities of public school teachers to teach more effectively using 21st century modalities.”
Edwin said as a socially responsible organisation with the understanding of the impact of project induced migration on communities, the company organised a project induced In Migration (influx) workshop to sensitise its hosts on the impact of influx and issues related to influx and it is currently supporting the communities to monitor in-migration into host communities.
Edwin noted that the company also distributed palliatives to its host communities to help cushion the effects of COVID-19.
“It is worthy of note that Dangote Fertiliser Limited is currently undertaking a Livelihood Support Programme for persons impacted by the 54km gas pipeline. The programme aims at distributing improved adapted cassava stems to local farmers, building their capacities on farming techniques to improve farm yield and developing local entrepreneurs for cassava by-products,” he added.
The Executive Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Wahab Alawiye-King, who was represented at the event by Architect Ebaide Omokore, Director of Projects Department, appreciated Dangote Fertiliser for funding the project, stating that the State Government is committed to delivering all-inclusive, quality Basic Education in a conducive environment for learning aided by technology.
Alawiye-King applauded Dangote Company for providing the facilities to promote positive learning outcomes, adding that the Board is also carrying out infrastructure upgrade and renovation in many parts of the State, especially within hard-to-reach communities.
Also, speaking at the event, Chairman, Lekki Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, Ogidan Olaitan, commended Dangote Fertiliser Limited for the gesture, saying it has proven to be a social responsible company, which has the interest of the people at heart.
“Dangote has always considered the host communities as partners in progress in all its projects around Ibeju-Lekki and we are happy to have Dangote around. His project has further placed our communities on the global map,” he said.