Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, October 10, 2022. Lafarge Africa Plc., a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building Solutions Company and member of Holcim, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, hosted the graduation ceremony of the 3rd set of students from its Cement Professional Technician Program (CPTP).
This reiterates the company’s commitment to youth empowerment, bridging the skills gap in the cement industry and industrial sectors, and creating a high chance of employment opportunities, while also exposing participants to a cross-cultural learning environment by leveraging the state-of-the-art learning centres of the company spread across the three regions of the country.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, the Country Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, stated that the CPTP was launched in May 2017 as an initiative aimed at building and promoting local content from the host communities nationwide and offering training in various areas of cement manufacturing technology to the participants.
El Dokani noted that through the programme, the company is bridging the skills gap in the cement industry and also creating opportunities for employment for successful participants. “Today’s graduands have been exposed to cross-cultural, theoretical, practical, mentoring, and coaching experiences that will positively impact their lives and career. We are enabling sustainable empowerment and relevance in today’s world.”
“As an organization, we are committed to our sustainability leadership and strategy of climate and energy, circular economy, nature, and people. Our focus on our people and our communities is further demonstrated by our contributions to the improvement of the quality of lives through setting up local development programmes and initiatives in key areas that have a direct impact on the socio-economic well-being of the people and their environment,” he added.
Also speaking, Gbemiga Owolabi, O&HR Director, Lafarge Africa Plc stated that the company has been in operation for over about 62 years and would not be where it is today without having to refresh and bring in young talents that can maintain and sustain this organization.
“Lafarge has been in existence for about 62 years and we would not have been here today if not that we continue to refresh and bring in young talents who can bring in perspectives to sustain this organization.”
“The CPTP programme is a key initiative for is as provides a platform for us to continues to bring in young, talented and technically oriented individuals that can help us to grow and through that we empower the community and empower the younger ones in this country.”
“To the graduates, please continue to display the right attitude and behaviour, it is not just about the technical skills, it is also about the behaviour and attitude that you take to work, in terms of delivering your own job, making sure that you work in collaborative manner, work as a team and be interested in the growth of this organization itself.”
The Head, Industrial Learning & Development, Lafarge Africa Plc, Engr. Michael Shokunbi, explained: “At Lafarge Africa Plc, our vision is to build a stronger Nigeria, safely, ethically, and sustainably by recruiting participants into our Technical Schemes Development Program (TSDP) from across the country taking into consideration gender inclusion and diversity.”
According to Shokunbi, the graduands sat for and passed the Lafarge internal examination and had their admission regularized with JAMB before admission into the CPTP. After which they received training on a rotational basis across the country in Lafarge Africa’s state-of-the-art plants and training centers at Mfamosing in Cross Rivers State, Ashaka in Gombe State, and Ewekoro in Ogun state.
“This way Lafarge Africa is helping to integrate and build a cross-cultural group of Nigerians who will not only be technically sound but culturally perceptive and an embodiment of a true Nigerian. Today, our graduands can speak the three languages of Effik, Hausa, and Yoruba to a reasonable level. They are better Nigerians,” he noted.
Commenting further on the nature of the training programme, Shokunbi explained that the program which is fully residential and welfare-centric is all-encompassing and does not limit any of the trainees to a particular trade or the cement industry. “The multi-skilled program covers a diverse range of disciplines such as Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation & Automation technologies, Cement manufacturing process (Production, process, and quality) Entrepreneurship and NBTE accredited welding cum fabrication training.”
He also disclosed that the initiative was also aimed at providing them with potential opportunities for their future academic and career advancement. “Our graduates today have to their credit the Lafarge Africa Plc Diploma Certificate and National Innovation Diploma (NID) in welding and Fabrication Technology as the program is accredited by NBTE.”
Speaking on behalf of the Director General, NECA, Olwaseun Amigun, Project Executive, ITF-NECA Project, congratulated Lafarge management team for their contribution to the lives of the graduating youth and to national development. He added that NECA will continue to call for action by the government and all stakeholders to urgently come together to invest and build the frameworks and sustainable model that will mostly impact the youth of the country.
Also, Dauda Batari, Executive Commissioner Education, Gombe State celebrated the initiative, revealing that by filling the gaps in job availability with the Lafarge CPTP programme, the future is bright especially with our youths, as they are the future.
In his remarks, Olotu Omoba Micheal Oyedele, Chairman Royal Initiative for the Development of Sagamu Community commended the company and its partners for the highly impactful interventions that continue to cater for the needs of host communities. He also implored the company to improve on the programme by increasing the number of admitted students from the usual 15 that it has always been since inception.
Certificates and honors were awarded to the students by the distinguished invitees present at the event. Etim Michael best graduating student Mfamosing emerged the overall best graduating student while Abdulahmid Sanni and Keshington Abdulrasaq Olasubomi emerged as best graduating students for Asahaka and Ewekoro respectively.
Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Etim Michael, the best overall graduating student, expressed gratitude to Lafarge Africa, NECA and ITF for the opportunity to be part of this amazing program. Noting that the programme has given him the opportunity to relate and connect with people from different tribes, different religions, and experience different cultures.
About Lafarge Africa Plc
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. Additional information is available on the web site at www.lafarge.com.ng
Holcim builds progress for people and the planet. As a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, Holcim is enabling greener cities, smarter infrastructure and improving living standards around the world. With sustainability at the core of its strategy Holcim is becoming a net zero company, with its people and communities at the heart of its success. The company is driving the circular economy as a world leader in recycling to build more with less. Holcim is the company behind some of the world’s most trusted brands in the building sector including ACC, Aggregate Industries, Ambuja Cement, Disensa, Firestone Building Products, Geocycle, Holcim and Lafarge. Holcim is 70,000 people around the world who are passionate about building progress for people and the planet through four business segments: Cement, Ready-Mix Concrete, Aggregates and Solutions & Products.
More information is available on www.holcim.com