Lagos, Nigeria, Friday, August 05, 2022. In celebration of its ‘2022 Sustainability Week’, leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc., in collaboration with Truss Empowerment Foundation organized a Female Tilers & Block Making Training Program for women from low-income communities in Lagos.
The two-week intensive vocational training program which was held at Nawarudeen High School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, is in line with the strategic objective of Lafarge Africa’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to empower, educate and increase gender equality in a male dominated sector.
The goal of the training program was to train a minimum of 25 women, sourced from low-income communities in Makoko, Lagos on the practical use of Lafarge’s Supafix products in tiling of walls and floors, as well as on how to mould blocks.
During the comprehensive training, expert trainers and professionals took the participants through theoretical and practical aspects of tiling and impacted sufficient skills to get them started in the industry.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony last Friday, Titilope Oguntuga, Head, Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand, Lafarge Africa Plc., noted that the initiative was first of its kind and part of the company’s efforts to address the gender imbalance in the industry and further drive women entrepreneurship and development in the country.
"In a sector in which women can sometimes be under-represented, taking these steps is critical,” explains Oguntuga. “We are making significant strides in building a more sustainable future for all. That includes changing the narrative and fighting the myth that construction work is more appropriate for men, so that young women can aspire for a career in the industry,” she stressed.
Also speaking at the event, Alh. S.Q Folarin, Director Scale, Lead Trainer, while commending Lafarge Africa for promoting gender equality in a male dominated space also took time to praise the trainees for their willingness and determination to learn.
“I just want to use this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the team at Lafarge for putting this initiative together. The joy of Lafarge and the joy of a trainer is for you to see your trainees ready to learn; two things impress a trainer and they are interest and determination. I will give this to the Lafarge team for this awesome opportunity for the female tilers/block makers, as this of course will promote gender equality in a male dominated space.”
In the same vein, Mr. Adediran Segun Clement, Chairman, Lagos State Professional Tilers Association (LASPROTAN) while congratulating the Graduands also appreciated the leading building solutions company for the initiative. “Greetings to the Lafarge executive team, more grace to your elbow, congratulations to the Graduands also. You are coming into a field dominated by men.”
Clement also introduced the Graduands to the doctrines of the association and charged them to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities offered by the association in order to succeed and move forward in their career.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow trainees, Omowunmi O. Alomore, appreciated the building solutions company for the opportunity to be part of the programme. “We want to say a very big thank you to Lafarge Africa Plc for their full support to enable women to do what men have been doing for ages i.e. building houses and tiling houses.”
She also thanked Truss Empowerment Foundation and all the instructors for the partnership and technical support to the project.
At the end of the skill acquisition and entrepreneurship training, the participants were issued certificates from Lafarge and inducted into the Tilers Association. They were also given food items and discount voucher cards with 2.5-3% discount for every Supafix product bought while the three best graduating students received work tools from Lafarge.
Further to the celebration of the 2022 sustainability week’ with the theme ‘Accelerating Collaboration for Sustained Impact’, the building solutions company also launched a carbon compensation programme that will enable all employees of the company to contribute to positive environmental footprints.
The programme called One2Tree meaning One Trip Equals One Tree is coined from the first words of trip and tree and ‘ee’ to come to the final outcome - also sounding like ‘123’- is inspired by the idea that, for carbon emissions made during air travels, which is mostly conspicuously displayed on flight tickets, there must be a compensation intervention.
According to Titilope Oguntuga, the initiative is targeted towards every employee who makes an official flight, both local and international in the pilot phase while those who make personal flight in the advanced phase will also be encouraged to make disclosures that will enable them to contribute to compensating the planet.
“It is a credible way for employees irrespective of their function, to get involved in ‘Building Progress for People and the Planet’, making individual contributions to the overall purpose of the organization, while entrenching a sense of responsibility for Nature,” she said.
“As we look ahead to 2030, this intervention is in consonance with 5 of the 17 sustainable development goals: SDG 3 (Good health and Wellbeing), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals),” she concluded.
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
Head, Corporate Communications