Lagos, Nigeria, Friday, November 30, 2010.The Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development, Rt. Honourable Nduese Essien has commended Lafarge Cement WAPCO Plc for being socially responsible.
Hon. Essien made this remarks during the National Dialogue on Collapsed Building organised by the leading cement manufacturer in Abuja recently.
A visibly impressed Essien expressed his pleasure ‘’that the company has taken it upon itself to bring together key stakeholders in the built industry to find solutions to one of the problems that has ravaged the built sector and embarrassed the nation as a people and a country’’.
“I want to use this medium to extend the warm regards of the Federal Government to the management of Lafarge WAPCO Nigeria Plc for convening this national dialogue. This dialogue will go a long way to portray this company as a genuinely socially responsible organisation”.
He said the company’s initiative “does not come as a surprise as they have been in the production of quality cement for 50 years and therefore not likely to be responsible for building collapse in the country as the issue of building collapse is a recent phenomenon”
According to the minister, all stakeholders in the built sector must now accept their share of responsibility to stop further collapse of buildings in the country as the country can no longer accept the growing threat posed to lives and properties by the activities of criminally –minded builders and developers.
He said what the country needs at this critical moment is the force of courage, an unwavering commitment for the common good, and an undying resolve to do things right. He noted that in this new deal, manufacturers of building materials, block molders, quantity surveyors, architects, builders, engineers, craftsmen and allied professionals must carry out their operations with utmost proficiency and regard for global best standards.
The Minister further said that government cannot solve every problem, and called on everyone to join in the work of remaking our built sector.
Why the National Dialogue on Collapsed Buildings ?
On what informed the dialogue, The Chairman of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Chief Segun Osunkeye said it is important to address this issue which requires immediate and strict measures to ensure that safer shelter is achieved for all. He said the subject is relevant than ever as even globally, quality shelter has been listed as part of the millennium development goals.
Osunkeye further informed that” As a company who has, for the past 50 years been at the forefront of cement manufacturing and provision of safe, comfortable housing for millions of Nigerians, we have taken it upon ourselves to continue to play a vital role in the society. As a world-class organization, we will continue challenging ourselves to move to the forefront as a true leader in our market and industry.”
In the same vein, the Managing Director/CEO of the company, Samy Abdelkader noted that as industry leader, it gives the company profound joy to be at the forefront of contributing to the improvement of the society as a responsible corporate citizen.
“We at Lafarge is proud of being at the centre of this initiative and request you all to join us in the effort to attack and solve this problem that besets building and construction in Nigeria’’
Continuing, Abdelkader said, “our concern for Health and Safety is a major reason why we have incorporated this programme as part of the activities lined up to mark our 50th anniversary of cement production. As many of you may be aware, Health and Safety is Lafarge’s first Business priority. Health and Safety is a commitment that has gradually become a way of life for the Lafarge family as we believe that Health and Safety are core values that must be incorporated into all aspects of our business”
Roll Call :
Present at the national dialogue are the Minister for Lands, Housing & urban Development ,Rt Hon Nduse Essien ; Minister for Commerce & Industry who was represented by Mrs. Dorothy Obi; Chairman, House of representatives Committee on Housing & Habitat, Hon. Abubakar Garba Matazu; Director General of SON, Dr. John Akanya; President Nigeria Institute of Structural Engineers, Eng. Victor Oyenuga. Others include, the Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos, Prof. M.A Salau, President, Nigeria Institute of Building(NIOB), Dachollom Dalyop Jambol ;President , Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE) ;President,Nigerian Institute of Architects(NIA) and other profesional bodies including the Nigerian Institution of Quantity Surveyors(NIQS),Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors(NIES),Nigerian Institute of Suveryor(NIS),Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria(CORBON) and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria(COREN)
The dialogue was part of activities lined up for the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary celebration of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc.