As proof of its innovative and impactful social investment in 2018, Lafarge’s Nigeria office has won the inaugural CSR Awards of LafargeHolcim for the Middle East and Africa. The announcement was made recently by Miljan Gutovic, Regional Head, LafargeHolcim for the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
Nigeria won the overall award after beating 35 other countries in two of the four Award categories. The country won gold for its CSR initiatives in the Education and Employment category ahead of Egypt (silver) and Kenya (bronze). Nigeria also won gold in the Shelter and Infrastructure category ahead of Morocco (silver) and Cote d'Ivoire (bronze).
While making the announcement, Gutovic congratulated all participating countries for showcasing the critical and impactful work done in host communities to bring LafargeHolcim’s global sustainable development strategy to life.
“The projects presented during the competition demonstrate our commitment across the Middle East and Africa region to enriching lives within and beyond our fence. I want to thank all participants for the enthusiasm shown in making real impact in the lives of people in the countries where we operate.” Gutovic noted.
The contribution by the Nigeria office takes its inspiration from the LafargeHolcim 2030 plan which aims to lead in sustainability and set new standards. By the year 2030, the company’s ambition is to have transformed the way the industry works. It aims to set a strong example for the construction sector to play its part in addressing the planet’s biggest issues. As the global leader in the construction and building materials industry, LafargeHolcim has the opportunity, responsibility and the will to make a positive difference.
As a reward for coming tops, Nigeria’s winning initiative will be replicated across the Middle East and Africa to consolidate on its gains.
In Nigeria, since 2014, Lafarge has worked assiduously to beat the housing deficit in the country while also helping to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 - Industrial innovation and Infrastructure and Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Lafarge introduced the Easy Home initiative in Nigeria, an ambitious housing solution, which, using strategic partnerships helps individuals build decent homes with a low budget. The company also links prospective home builders to financiers, qualified building professionals and high-quality materials. In 2016 alone, over 30,000 people benefited from the initiative and the aim is to reach a lot more people by the year 2030.
In 2017, Lafarge Africa created the Cement Professionals Training Program (CPTP), a program that helps youths with entrepreneurial spirit to achieve their goals in the fields of technology, engineering, cement manufacturing, instrumentation and automation. In its first year, more than 30 youths have been impacted by the program. In the same year, the company made large investments in diverse social investment programs and initiatives in its host communities across the country, directly impacting more than 450,000 beneficiaries.
Also, to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Quality Education, Lafarge Africa has complemented the Nigerian government’s efforts to improve education at the primary level through the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition. Since 2014 when the project kicked off, over 600,000 public primary school pupils have been impacted across 544 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.