Members of the host communities to Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, a leading cement manufacturer, have commended the organization for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has put in place towards the development of the communities. Members of the host communities to Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, a leading cement manufacturer, have commended the organization for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has put in place towards the development of the communities.
Representatives of communities from Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State where Lafarge WAPCO has its two cement plants made this known during an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) review meeting conducted by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, for the company’s proposed cement and coal processing plants. The review meeting held at the Gateway Hotel, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Chief F.O.A Fagbenro from Egbado Ajegunle and Public Relations Officer of the Ewekoro Communities Development Committee, told panelists at the EIA Review that “the leadership of Lafarge WAPCO under Mr. George Lourandos, is putting smiles on the faces of people in Ewekoro community in the areas of development initiatives” According to him, “the company requests from us and we give them our areas of priority in terms of developments. For instance, they’ve given our communities electricity by providing us transformers and high-tension cables. Water projects are being carried out through boreholes and deep wells”.
Another representative of Ewekoro Community, Chief J. O. Idowu submitted that “the company gave our students scholarship, youth empowerment through revolving capital and educational relief materials. Lafarge WAPCO also introduced mechanized farming into our villages in Ewekoro by giving us tractors”.
Youth representatives, under the aegis of Sagamu Youth Council, led by Mr. Jamiu Olododo said the company had equally demonstrated its commitment to the development of Sagamu through a number of activities ranging from the building of public toilets to yearly scholarships and a Community Learning Centre for youth empowerment.
Following the presentation of the EIA of the proposed project by Lafarge WAPCO, a former Chairman of Sagamu Local Government, Chief Dipo Oyewole who was present at the session said “while I am satisfied with this company’s presentation, Lafarge WAPCO should ensure that all the mitigation measures identified by this panel should be put in place and monitored for the well-being of all Sagamu people”.
Oyewole’s observation was corroborated by the Baale of Ewekoro, Chief S A Lawal who said, “In the past, dust emission during cement manufacturing was bad, but the company has improved a lot in the area of dust control. They can do better”.
Responding, Lafarge WAPCO’s Sustainability Development Manager, Mr. Yakubu Yusuf told the panel comprising of experts such as engineers, geologists economists, mining and air quality specialists that the new plants will put in a dry system utilising bag filter technology, which is better, for dust control.
According to Yusuf, “we will also adopt other measures, such as clearing and construction of necessary channels to check issues with flooding. As part of our expansion projects, we also have plans to build a trailer park that will conveniently take about 600 trucks”. Continuing, Yusuf said, “ as a company, we carry out our production in accordance with enabling federal laws in Nigeria, such as the Blasting Ordinance. Our operations are equally guided by the Lafarge Group standard, which conforms to international standards in cement production.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge WAPCO, Mr. George Lourandos recently revealed that the company would witness an increase in its capacity with its ongoing expansion project. According to him, “recent decision has been taken to deploy by end of 2010 a new 2.2 million metric tonnes line, which will increase the aggregate Lafarge WAPCO capacity to 4.2 million metric tonnes. Lafarge WAPCO currently has a capacity of 2.0 million metric tonnes through its two plants of Ewekoro and Sagamu .