Community leaders and members of Mfamosing and adjoining communities in Cross River State have expressed delight at Lafarge Africa’s Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme, which they acknowledged is yielding positive outcomes.
The Lafarge Africa CSR initiatives designed to empower youths who are mainly residents of its host communities, to be economically and socially responsible through technical skill acquisition has had great impact in the communities.
Many of the beneficiaries of the CSR initiatives designed to empower youths who are mainly residents of its host communities, to be economically and socially responsible through technical skill acquisition expressed that their lives had been positively impacted by the building solutions company skills empowerment initiative.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Ruth David Peter, a mother of two from Ekong Anaku community said: “Lafarge sent me on training in fashion design for one year and after that, they gave me starter packs including a sewing machine. I saved the stipend they were giving me during my one-year training from October 2020 to October 2021 to rent this shop. Since I started sewing, I have bought two additional machines from the money I made from sewing. When we were undergoing the training, we were advised to ensure we train others when we graduate. These two girls here are undergoing training under me for free. As the company trained me for free, I am also training them for free.”
Similarly, Kashang Martin Obiri, also from Ekong Anaku community who is currently studying Computer Science at the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS, said that he obtained training in welding and fabrication and got starter packs at the end of his training. “My training lasted for one year and six months. I can apply the knowledge I gathered during the training anywhere in the world. I am very grateful to Lafarge for sponsoring me for the training. I have been using the skill I learnt to support myself in school,” Obiri said.
16-year-old Favour Baron Odok from Kasuk Community in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area of the state threads in an uncommon terrain for older women, let alone of girls of her age. Odok is undergoing training in mechanical engineering where she is being taught how to fabricate automobile parts as well as fix haulage trucks that need repair. “I specialize in the fabrication of carburetors and injectors of haulage trucks. Very soon I will go across the road to fix one of the trucks,” she said.
It is a similar positive story from the Mfamosing community in Akamkpa Local Government Area where 21-year-old Miss Gift Cletus Ekun said she is a beneficiary of Lafarge Africa’s Skills Empowerment Programme. “I went through Electrical Engineering training. I am through with it, and I have been given admission to study the same Electrical Engineering at the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS. I thank Lafarge because what they taught helped me to prepare for university education. May God bless Lafarge,” Miss Ekun said.
Another beneficiary, Edwin Etta, from Mboby community, Akampka LGA said that through the company’s empowerment scheme, he benefited immensely from the training in block-molding and bricks making. “Since last year, after I finished training, my life has improved, and I am very happy now. I even chose where to work because what I learnt from the Lafarge training can hardly be given to you anywhere else,” Etta said.
Joseph Okon from Essien Town, in Calabar municipality, said since he completed his training in Welding and Fabrication last year his financial situation has improved: I remain grateful to Lafarge because I no longer depend on my parents for money. Since I am still working in the shop where I was trained, I have been able to save some money, and with the starter pack given to me by the company, I will set up my shop soon. I also support my younger ones, and my mother who is a trader. My mother keeps praying for all the good things to happen to Lafarge,” Okon said.
Speaking on the development, Ntufam Alphonsus Bassey, the Community Relations Committee Chairman for Mboby community in Akampka LGA and the 17 communities that make up the Lafarge Host Communities, commended Lafarge for the support it has been rendering to the communities. He said “in terms of human capacity development, the building solutions company stands head and shoulders above many companies operating in the host communities.”
Also appreciating the support of the company in the state, Mr. Akpa Agbor, Director of Environmental Quality Control, Cross River State Ministry of Environment said “The people and government of the state sincerely appreciate the positive impact of Lafarge Africa Plc through the implementation of its CSR programs. These gestures have gone a long way to touch lives in the host communities in particular and the state at large.”
In his view, Mr. Benedict Okache, Director of Information and Orientation, Cross Rivers State Ministry of Information, noted that Lafarge Africa Plc, Mfamosing plant has over the years sustained a robust CSR programme that has been impacting positively on the socio-economic life of host community members.
Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building solutions company is a member of Holcim Limited, a world leader in building solutions accelerating our world’s green transformation. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lafarge Africa is actively participating in the urbanization and economic growth of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa.
Lafarge Africa has the widest footprint in Nigeria with cement operations in the South West (Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State), North East (Ashaka, in Gombe State), South East (Mfamosing, Cross Rivers State) with Ready-Mix operations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Lafarge Africa has a current installed cement production capacity of 10.5Mtpa.
Lafarge Africa leverages on its innovative expertise to provide value-added products and services solutions in the building and construction industry in Nigeria.