305 Youths Graduate From Dangote Cement Vocational Empowerment Program

Posted on March 13, 2024

No fewer than 305 youths from the Dangote Cement Ibese plant’s 17 host communities have so far been trained and empowered with multi-million Naira start-up packs in different vocations since the commencement of operations by the Cement Company in Ibese, the Company management has disclosed.

This is just as the Ogun State government lauded the efforts of Dangote Cement in complementing the state’s poverty alleviation programmes describing the company as a worthy partner.

Acting Plant Director of the Ibese Cement Plant, Mr. Michael Johnson made the disclosure during the closing ceremony of the 2023 Community Youths Empowerment programme held at the plant’s premises at Ibese during which 30 fresh host communities’ youths graduated from the Youth Skill Acquisition and Empowerment in crafts and leather works in collaboration with Industrial Training Fund.

Mr. Johnson described the conclusion of the skill acquisition programme as another testament to Dangote Cement’s commitment to the socio-economic development of its host communities and their people.

“Our focus is to support the indigenous people to become self-sustaining by delivering and sustaining values that are pivotal to their overall growth and development.”

While welcoming the guests and the beneficiaries to the ceremony, the Cement Plant boss pointed out that the successful completion of the programme was another milestone in the journey of the company’s social investment strides saying the company’s vision is to create entrepreneurs who in turn will create jobs for other youths within the communities.

Said he; “today, thirty (30) youths from our seventeen (17) host communities are receiving certificates for undergoing in full and conducting themselves well during the intensive training, 70% hands on and 30% theory, organized by the Dangote Cement Ibese Plant through the ITF. This underscores our recognition of youths as a critical stakeholder group to the company and our resolve to continue to collaborate to unleash their innate potentials.

“They are also being provided with multi-million Naira start-up packs comprising SR-810 Professional Single Needle Post-bed Heavy-lock Stick Shoe Patch sewing machine, Master Flex MF-2008BG Shoe filing machine and other accessories like scissors, hammer & sewing needle.”

Amidst applause by the beneficiaries, Johnson recalled that the 30 youths commenced the training in October 2023, with little or no idea in the craft of leather works and shoe making.

“After months of intensive learning and extensive practice, they are now imbued with skills that can put food on their tables and afford them opportunities to meaningfully contribute their quota to the development of their respective communities and the nation at large. It gladdens our heart to be instrumental to this transformational journey for all the participants.”

He stated that the Company’s management was of the view that governments at all levels and the private sector alone cannot fully meet the employment needs 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 program is therefore timely and most auspicious as its intended impact cannot be overemphasized considering the prevailing economic condition in the Country, he noted.”

According to him, so far, not less than 305 youths across the Ibese Plant host communities have been trained and empowered in different skills since the commencement of programmes, with significant impact on the local economy while expressing the company’s desire to continue to collaborate with stakeholders to deepen the impact of the program.

The Plant Director stated that apart from the annual skills acquisition program, Dangote Cement, Ibese has other programs such as annual Scholarship awards for 120 indigent and brilliant students and a dedicated structure to ensure that the youths remain engaged and their concerns are heard and attended to on a consistent basis.

He therefore urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity to set up their own businesses, grow them and become employer of labour by hitting the ground running immediately saying a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step.

“Be bold and courageous to start your own journey to greatness now! We live in a technology driven world, which the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken to another level. Hence, you need to remain focused and be conversant with the latest developments in your areas of specialization by embracing technology to remain relevant and competitive.”

In his goodwill message, the Ogun State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development. Hon. Wasiu Isiaka lauded Dangote Cement for its partnership programmes which have helped the state government tremendously in the area of poverty alleviation and job creation.

He challenged the Dangote Cement to sustain the trend by helping to ensure it create markets for the products the youth beneficiaries would be churning out noting that when there is market for the products the beneficiaries will be encouraged to double their efforts.

The commissioner assured that the state government would be ready to assist in whatever is required to foster joint development of the state by empowering its people, especially the youths.

He then advised the company to ensure the diversification of its empowerment programme so that different skills can be acquired by the youths in various field of vocation and in turn teach others.

Hon. Isiaka urged the youths and other stakeholders in the host communities to reciprocate the gesture of the Dangote Cement, Ibese by making peace and tranquility their priority.

He told them to play their own part of the bargain by partnering and supporting the organization to ensure peaceful co-existence and shared prosperity for all.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, 21-year old Olowookere Sadiq Opeyemi from Abule-Oke Community thanked the management of Dangote Cement for their passion in seeing that the youths from the host communities do not constitute nuisance to the society be empowering them through various vocational training.

He promised that he and his colleagues would not disappoint the company but will ensure the start-up packs given them are judiciously used so that they would also become entrepreneurs who in turn will employ others.

“What Dangote Cement has done for us is unquantifiable. They have lessened the burden off our parents and the society at large will be better for it. With this, Dangote Cement, Ibese has proven that they are not just corporate citizen but a socially responsible corporate citizen”, he stated.

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