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Dangote Cement Plc has signed a five-year community development agreement (CDA) with its Ibese plant host communities in Lagos.

Azad Nawabuddin, Ibese plant director, Dangote Cement, disclosed this on Thursday in a statement signed by Francis Awowole-Browne, media and communication relations personnel, Dangote Industries Limited in Lagos.

Nawabuddin said the decision to sign the agreement was a demonstration of the company’s commitment to human capital, infrastructural development of its host communities as well as the well-being of the residents of the communities.

He said the agreement signalled a new dawn for both the company and the host communities in the execution of the laid-out social investment projects under the company’s corporate social responsibilities (CSR) activities.

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Nawabuddin said the company signed the first CDA in 2013 that marked the beginning of concrete infrastructural and social support in employment, education, health, training, among others to improve the standard of living in host communities.

He said the new CDA was an improvement as it was created to surpass previous performance through a positive impact on the various stakeholder groups, especially the vulnerable in the communities.

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He added that the document stated clearly the consultative framework for engagements, grievance management, and obligations of both the plant and the host communities for mutual growth and development.

“In putting this together, we applied all the lessons from the implementation of the former and thoroughly engaged with the different stakeholder groups across the 17 host communities, with the guidance of the federal ministry of mines and steel development,” Nawabuddin said.

“We gather as key stakeholders in fulfillment of the provisions of section 116 of the minerals and mining act 2007, and 193 of the minerals and mining regulations 2011 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This occasion is a demonstration of our commitment to the development and overall well-being of our host communities and their people, as a responsible corporate entity.

“It is clearly a path to define relationships, commitments, obligations, and expectations with potential to address immediate concerns and future social issues that may arise, once all parties are committed to its full implementation.”

Nawabuddin, while affirming the company’s commitment to fulfilling all its obligations, charged the host communities to keep their end of the bargain to foster all-inclusive development.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, Lukmon Kuoye, Olu of Imasayi, traditional leader of Imasayi, said the signing of the new agreement was a clear departure from the past exercises as all representatives of the host communities and stakeholders were involved in the review and signing of the fresh agreement.

He added that what the communities owed Dangote Cement was a continuous collaboration to ensure that the company operates in an environment devoid of crisis which he promised the royal fathers would work towards.

Also speaking, Daniel Salako, the Aboro of Iboroland, expressed satisfaction with the fresh agreement.

“This CDA is good for us all. Though the fresh agreement is limited to the existing seventeen host communities and cannot cover the entire Yewaland for now, but it is subject to future amendments that will conceive legacy projects for the benefit of the people of Yewaland,” he said.

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