It was an atmosphere of excitement at the weekend as Dangote Granite Mines, Ijebu Igbo, a subsidiary of Dangote Group, awarded multi-million Naira scholarships to 60 host communities’ students in various schools in the country as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to foster educational development in its host communities.
The company also promised the beneficiaries automatic employment should they excel in their studies.
The management of the Company said the scholarship was in furtherance of its efforts at ensuring that its host communities are not left behind in terms of development especially in the area of education and infrastructure noting that education is one of the key areas of focus for development.
Beneficiaries of the scholarship award were drawn from the five host communities to Dangote Granite Mines which includes Ajebandele; Olorunmodi Ademowo; Saliu Baba Risi; Idi-Omo and Ijebu-Igbo township. The scholarship covers both secondary and higher institution students.
Mr. Ebenezer Fola Ali, Director, Human Assets Management, Dangote Projects who handed over the cheques to each of the awardees explained that the scholarship was meant to help the parents of the beneficiaries to lessen the burden the education of their children placed on them.
He stated that the scholarship award was part of the agreement reached with the leadership of the host communities during the signing of the Community Development Agreement (CDA) and urged the beneficiaries to face their education as they will be given automatic employment f they do well academically.
While also presenting the signed CDA to the Ijebu Igbo monarch, the Sopenlukale of Oke Sopen, Oba Muftau Adesesan Yussuf, Mr. Ali thanked the monarch and the communities’ leaders for creating an atmosphere of peace in the area and for showing the understanding that has led to the tranquillity being enjoyed by the company and the communities.
He assured the communities of the readiness of the company to do its own part of the agreement and ensure it identifies with the people at all times while also promising that the management would follow the CDA to the letter.
Mr. Ali also charged the communities leaders to continue to support the management of Dangote Granite Mines by maintaining peace. In the same vein, he charged the beneficiaries of the scholarship award not to let the Company and their parents down by engaging in activities that could derail their education.
He told the beneficiaries to justify their choice as recipients of the award by going ahead to excel in their different fields so as to spur on the management to do more.
In his remark, the Sopenlukale, Oba Yussuf thanked the management of Dangote Group for the show of assistance to the communities pointing out that the award of the scholarship indicated that the company was community friendly and committed to giving back to the society hence “it deserves all the supports the communities can muster.”
The monarch urged his people not to take the scholarship award and other projects that the Dangote management is doing for the communities for granted but should be seen as a show of love for the host communities because “let no one harbour the misconception that Dangote is doing the mining her free. Its not like that, the company is paying the government, both the state and the federal, what they are doing for us is an act of love and magnanimity.”
He told the people to continue to maintain peace as it is only when there is peace that the company can help the communities more.
One of the beneficiaries, Miss Aregbe Grace Oluwadamilola of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the management of Dangote Granite Mines for the good gestures saying the scholarship will go a long way in lessening the financial hardship they will encounter in school.
She promised that the beneficiaries would not let down the company and their parents and also prayed for the well-being of the Chairman of the Company, Aliko Dangote.