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Dangote Cement marks Host Community Day with multi-million-naira empowerment programmes



Ibese Plant awards scholarships, empowers youths, women, farmers


Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant, has marked its 2023 Host Community Day in a grand style with the unveiling of four multi-million Naira empowerment schemes targeted at youths, women, farmers and students in the company’s host communities.



KANO FOCUS reports that at the well attended event witnessed by leading traditional rulers, women and youth leaders from the host communities, 103 indigent and brilliant secondary and tertiary institution students across the 17 host communities were given scholarship awards and another set of 30 youths trained on shoe and bag-making were presented to the delight of the royal fathers.



In the same vein, the management of Dangote Cement Ibese presented 60 Weeding Machines procured for farmers to help them clear their farms with ease, given that the communities are majorly agrarian and crop planting has been their means of livelihood.



Not less than 50 women selected from the host communities were also empowered with deep freezers to help them cope with the prevailing economic challenge in the country. Same number of women were also gifted with ultra-modern grinding machines during the celebration of the maiden edition of the Community Day last year.

Recall that the Cement Company had earlier intervened in a prolonged outage in some of the communities by procuring cables and other materials needed for the restoration of electricity to the affected communities.



Speaking on the occasion held inside the cement plant’s staff estate in Ibese, the Plant Director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin noted that the company had stepped up its social interventions, given the prevailing challenging situation across the world.



According to him, businesses and families across the world and in Nigeria have been confronted with socio-economic challenges in the year 2023, pointing out that a lot has happened to test the peoples’ and organisations’ resilience and innovation, but that Dangote Cement has been able to weather the storm and remained afloat mainly due to the unalloyed supports received from the host communities.



“The challenges notwithstanding, we are able to continue the upward trajectory in the delivery of our socio-economic development promises, in reciprocation and in line with our commitment to improving the overall wellbeing of our people. We have stepped up our social interventions in our host communities according to their needs and we will not shy away from making the people happy”, he stated.



Mr. Nawabuddin said Dangote Cement’s commitment to the wellbeing and development of its people through intentional empowerment programmes remain unwavering, adding that the management would continue to get better in its stride to fulfill the pact it has with the host communities and to complement the efforts of the Government in improving the standard of living of the people.



Reeling out some social investments carried out during the year, the Plant Director said “this year, we embarked on 23 social investment projects and revamp of ten non-functional CSR projects across the 17 host communities, in line with the thematic focus of DCP’s Social Investments i.e. Education, Health, Infrastructure and Empowerment, and we have so far recorded remarkable progress in their implementations.”



He described the scholarship programme as the oldest of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the plant and added that the scheme, which started with 28 students, has grown to cover 103 tertiary institution students and 17 secondary school students on annual basis.



Noting that the selected students enjoy scholarship up to graduation stage, after which the concerned communities supply replacements, he disclosed that a total of 989 Scholarships have been awarded under the scheme to date with many testaments to the positive impacts on the various communities.



On youth empowerment, the Dangote Cement boss said youths are regarded as a very critical stakeholder group in every society, but expressed regret that it has become impracticable for governments and businesses to meet the employment demand of all the youths.



“Therefore, as a responsible organisation, Dangote Cement, Ibese annually trains and empowers Youths across the host communities in marketable trade areas, with various implementing partners since 2019,” Nawabuddin added.



According to him, “Host community Youths had been empowered in vocations such as Catering and Event Management, Acutherapy, Tailoring and Fashion designing, and Domestic Electrification in the previous years and that this year, no fewer than 30 youths selected from the 17 host communities are being trained on Shoe and Bag-making, with the Industrial Training Fund as the implementing partner.”


On empowerment of the farmers, Nawabuddin stated that the farmers need support to take advantage of the available large span of arable land and that was why Dangote Cement Ibese procured 60 Weeding Machines for the farmer beneficiaries, “as it is becoming increasingly difficult to source labour from the neighbouring Benin Republic as was the usual practice.”


According to him, the farmers have undergone one-day training on the usage and basic maintenance of the tool. The Implementing partner, Equinox, which is also locally sourced to promote local content, also offered to train specially two of the beneficiaries on the repair to guarantee sustainability.


On the decision to empower women, he said explained that Dangote Cement management recognised the important role women play in building families and by extension, the society; thus the company provided a platform for regular engagement with women representatives of the Host Communities tagged ‘Women Assembly’.


“This year, the Company reached out to assess the needs of the Women in our host communities and came up with the request for Chest Freezers to help our people start new businesses and expand existing ones. It is our joy that the proposal has now come to fruition. Fifty (50) lucky women have deep freezers to enhance their businesses”, Nawabuddin stated.


In his goodwill message, the Aboro of Ibeseland, Oba Rotimi Oluwaseyi Mulero thanked the management of Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant for its gesture in impacting their host communities positively, noting that the people are happy and the company should not relent in its social interventions.


While describing the social performance profile of the company as very impressive, the royal father stated that with what Dangote Cement has been doing for the people, it beholves on the community leaders and all the residents to reciprocate and ensure peace reigns for the good of all so that the company can do more.


Oba Mulero said, “much as the people and community leaders are lauding the company for the giant strides in the host communities, I am also enjoining them not rest on their oars. we are still asking for more because all these projects can never be too much for the people. Also, we want the management to consider someone from the host communities to be appointed into management position.


“In all, Dangote Cement has done excellently well, last year we were here when grinding machines were given to our women. Today, it is freezers, the youths and the farmers are not left out. Scholarship for the indigent students, what can we say than pray to God to continue to help Dangote Cement grow more so that they can do more”, the monarch added.


In his goodwill message, the Ogun State Commissioner for Trade and Investments, Adebola Sofela, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Olu Aikulola, commended Dangote Cement for the various interventions in form of empowerment of the people, describing the gesture as a kind of relief to the state government.


Of note, according to him, is the conflict resolution mechanism of the company, which he said has been very effective. He advised the management to sustain it while describing the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote as the most progressive entrepreneur in the country.


Much as the Dangote Cement is a blessing to the people, he enjoined them to maintain peace because it is only in the atmosphere of peace that the company can thrive and help the people more, adding that the Ogun state government would be ready to assist should the need arises.


Oba Kayode Kusoro, the Olu of Aga Olowo in an interview with newsmen described the Community Day as a good one as it affords the people a good opportunity to bond together with the Dangote Cement Ibese management and compare notes on the journey so far.


According to him, “the presence of Dangote Cement in the Yewa North local government area of Ogun state has marked out the area as an industrial hub.”

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Gov. Yusuf Flag off Distribution of Over N1 billion Worth Free Fertilizers to Smallholder Farmers in Kano



Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf Thursday unveiled distribution of free fertilizers worth over one billion naira to smallholder farmers including females and People with Disabilities in the state.

A statement by Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the Spokesperson to the Governor, said the initiative was in fulfillment of Governor Yusuf’s campaign promise to improve livelihood through investment on Agribusiness.

Governor Yusuf had during his campaign activities towards 2023 elections promised to champion Agricultural transformation through provision of quality and affordable Agricultural inputs as contained in his 70 page blueprint presented to the good people of Kano tittled “My Commitment for Kano”

Besides, the Dawakin-Tofa revealed the over a billion naira worth NPK fertilizers that was distributed to 52,800 smallholder farmers across the 44 Local Government areas were produced by the state owned Kano Agricultural Supply Company (KASCO).

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf while flagging off the agric input disbursement explained the intention was to reduce cost of production and boost food security.

The state executive council had also approved the procurement of over five billion naira worth fertilizers that will soon be made available to Kano farmers at subsedised rate.

The Governor stressed that farmers already battling with high cost of inputs and labour occasioned by economic reality, now have cause to redouble energy to multiple their produces.

He emphasised on the government readiness to sustain food production through regular supply of fertilizer production by the state owned company (KASCO). Governor Yusuf said KASCO and other state manufacturering centres are being strengthening to revertilise revenue flow and sustain the economy of the economy of the state.

The beneficiaries which include women farmers and people living with disabilities are expected to recieve 25kg of NPK fertilizer to support thier farming activities and eventually boost the yeild of thier crops and improve livelihood of the people.

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Agriculture: Gov. Yusuf issues stern warning against diversion of fertilizer distributed to Kano farmers..



… As Emir Sanusi harps on fairness in sharing

The Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has issued a stern warning to officials of the state against the diversion of fertilizer distributed to 52,800 farmers across the 44 Local Government Areas.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Thursday.

The governor’s warning was made during the flag-off of the distribution of free fertilizer to farmers across the 44 local governments, held at the Open Arena, Government House, Kano.

The Governor mandated the Kano Project Protection Association (Kano-PRO-PA) to ensure adherence to the distribution guidelines intended for smallholder farmers.

“Any government official found diverting this fertilizer will be dealt with severely.

“We will not tolerate corruption. This gesture is meant for real farmers,” the Governor warned.

In his remark the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, emphasized the importance of fairness in the distribution exercise to achieve the set goals and objectives.

He noted that the gesture was timely, as the Emirate has received reports from District Heads about the high price of fertilizer impeding farming during the 2024 rainy season, potentially causing food shortages.

Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II added that ensuring the fertilizer reaches the intended beneficiaries and providing the necessary farm inputs will significantly assist in achieving a bumper harvest.

He urged farmers to judiciously utilize the given resources.

The Emir also called on well-to-do individuals, philanthropists, and those capable in society to empower farmers with inputs and aid the needy during these trying times.

He commended the Kano State Government under the leadership of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf for initiating people-oriented projects aimed at uplifting the standard of living of Kano’s populace.

Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II prayed for peace, unity, stability, prosperity, and economic development in the state and beyond.

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Dangote refinery insists international oil companies are frustrating its crude supply demands



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim


The Management of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for its various interventions in the oil company’s crude supply requests from International Oil Companies (IOCs), and for publishing the Domestic Crude Supply Obligation (DCSO) guidelines to enshrine transparency in the oil industry.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Vice President, of Oil & Gas, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. DVG Edwin however said: “If the Domestic Crude Supply Obligation (DCSO) guidelines are diligently implemented, this will ensure that we deal directly with the companies producing the crude oil in Nigeria as stipulated by the PIA.”

Edwin insisted that IOCs operating in Nigeria have consistently frustrated the company’s requests for locally produced crude as feedstock for its refining process.

He highlighted that when cargoes are offered to the oil company by the trading arms, it is sometimes at a $2-$4 (per barrel) premium above the official price set by NUPRC. “As an example, we paid $96.23 per barrel for a cargo of Bonga crude grade in April (excluding transport). The price consisted of $90.15 dated Brent price + $5.08 NNPC premium (NSP) + $1 trader premium. In the same month, we were able to buy WTI at a dated Brent price of $90.15 + $0.93 trader premium including transport. When NNPC subsequently lowered its premium based on market feedback that it was too high, some traders then started asking us for a premium of up to $4m over and above the NSP for a cargo of Bonny Light”

“Data on platforms like Platts and Argus shows that the price offered to us is way higher than the market prices tracked by these platforms. We recently had to escalate this to NUPRC”, Edwin said and urged the regulatory commission to take a second look at the issue of pricing.

Edwin’s response came against the background of a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, in an interview on ARISE News TV said that “it is ‘erroneous’ for one to say that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) are refusing to make crude oil available to domestic refiners, as the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has a stipulation that calls for a willing buyer-willing seller relationship.”

Edwin noted that “The NUPRC has been very supportive to the Dangote Refinery as they have intervened several times to help us secure crude supply. However, the NUPRC Chief Executive was probably misquoted by some people hence his statement that IOCs did not refuse to sell to us. To set the records straight, we would like to recap the facts below.

“Aside from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), to date, we have only purchased crude directly from one other local producer (Sapetro). All other producers refer us to their international trading arms.

“These international trading arms are non-value adding middlemen who sit abroad and earn margin from crude being produced and consumed in Nigeria. They are not bound by Nigerian laws and do not pay tax in Nigeria on the unjustifiable margin they earn.

“The trading arm of one of the IOCs refused to sell to us directly and asked us to find a middleman who would buy from them and then sell to us at a margin. We dialogued with them for 9 months and in the end, we had to escalate to NUPRC who helped resolve the situation,” Edwin stated.

According to him, “When we entered the market to purchase our crude requirement for August, the international trading arms told us that they had entered their Nigerian cargoes into a Pertamina (the Indonesia National Oil Company) tender, and we had to wait for the tender to conclude to see what is still available.

“This is not the first time. In many cases, particular crude grades we wish to buy are sold to Indian or other Asian refiners even before the cargoes are formally allocated in the curtailment meeting chaired by NUPRC.

“However, we would like to urge NUPRC to take a second look at the issue of pricing. NUPRC has severally asserted that transactions should be on a willing seller / willing buyer basis. The challenge however is that market liquidity (many sellers / many buyers in the market at the same time) is a precondition for this. Where a refinery needs a particular crude grade loading at a particular time then there is typically only one participant on either side of the market.

“It is to avoid the problem of price gouging in an illiquid market that the domestic gas supply obligation specifies volume obligation per producer and a formula for transparently determining pricing. The fact that the domestic crude supply obligation as defined in the PIA has gaps is no reason for wisdom not to prevail”, Edwin stated.

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