Dangote refinery redefining CSR, awards 137 scholarships to host communities
In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals, Dangote Oil Refining Company recently gave scholarship awards to 137 students in tertiary institutions and secondary schools from various host communities at Ibeju-Lekki.
The move, hailed by various stakeholders as a major boost for educational empowerment in the host communities, is a win-win situation for everyone concerned. Charles Okonji writes
The importance of quality education in every society cannot be over-emphasised as development thrives on literacy, many analysts agree.
The Dangote Oil Refining Company, with firm belief that education is the bedrock of development, has continued to improve on the country’s educational system through the award of scholarships and provision of books to students in its host communities.
Through demonstrated commitments, the company has continued to ensure that its investments deliver inclusive development not only to the company, but also to critical external stakeholders.
As a way of giving back to its host communities, the company has embarked on a yearly scholarship award meant to contribute to the educational development of the people and position them rightly in the scheme of things in Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general.
To bridge the gap in Nigeria’s education sector and allow it contribute effectively to economic development, Dangote Oil Refining Company took up a proactive measure by embarking on an integrated tripartite approach to boost quality of education in the public schools around its host communities.
This approach includes a scholarship programme for students, a Train-The-Trainers Capacity Building Initiative for teachers and school infrastructure projects to improve school infrastructure.
For example, Dangote Oil Refining Company recently awarded scholarship to 137 students in higher institutions and secondary schools in 15 host communities around Ibeju-Lekki.
Apart from its investment in quality education, the company identified 10 host communities and five neighbouring communities in its areas of operation in Ibeju-Lekki.
The main beneficiary host communities include Idasho, Ilekuru, Okeyanta, Magbo-Segun, Okesegun, Itoke, Idotun, Alasia, Okunraiye and Lekki towns, while neighbouring communities are Imobido, Tiye, Mosa, Ilege and Olomowewe.
In Ibeju-Lekki, the company has executed several projects that are helping to enhance the lives of the people. It has provided boreholes for all the communities and classrooms for the local schools.
According to the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, the Dangote Group believes that education is the passport to the future and that an investment in knowledge yields the greatest dividends for humanity.
He said the company, over the years, had supported the Nigerian educational sector by instituting scholarship award programmes. According to him, this is part of the company’s education intervention initiative for indigenous students of host communities impacted by its businesses.
He said, “In 2019, we executed a pilot of the scholarship programme where 51 secondary school students from our 15 host communities here in Ibeju-Lekki were awarded. However, as 2019 ended, COVID-19 hit the global community, leaving its indelible mark not only on businesses but also on every household. As a result, we could not institute the second edition of the scholarship programme in the year 2020.
“As the curtain closes on 2021, we cannot but acknowledge the efforts that our scholars have put into their academic studies, to obtain such excellent results which qualifies them as beneficiaries of this award. Hence, after a rigorous screening process, 118 secondary school students and 19 tertiary institution students from our host communities have qualified for this scholarship award,” the GED added.
Obviously pleased with Dangote Oil Refining Company’s social investment around Ibeju Lekki, the Onilekki of Lekki Land, Oba Olumuyiwa Ogunbekun said Dangote’s commitment to CSR projects have begun to yield positive results.
According to the monarch, majority of the youths who benefited from Dangote Oil Refining’s skill acquisition programmes are now gainfully employed by some of the company’s contractors, while others have become employers of labour.
He noted that the Dangote Refinery project has become a blessing to all the host communities around Ibeju-Lekki.
Ogunbekun said the company had earlier trained Ibeju-Lekki youths on skill acquisition, which cuts across a wide range of vocational skills including welding, electrical technician, plumbing, auto mechanic, radio and television repairs, refrigerator and AC repairs, building and furniture making.
He added that the company had also donated classrooms block to serve the Abejoye Community in Ibeju-Lekki to provide quality education by way of provision of teaching materials and a conducive environment.
Ogunbekun noted that the move community development showed that the company is determined to carry along the host communities and to contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the locality.
He urged the beneficiaries of the scholarship programme to study hard and focus on their education in order to improve their lives and become worthy ambassadors of Ibeju-Lekki in future.
One of the beneficiaries, Master Qudus Sodiq, a Senior Secondary School Student from Community Senior High School, Lekki, expressed gratitude to the Dangote Group for the scholarship.
“I am very happy with this scholarship. It will help me to accomplish my educational aspiration and pursue my dreams in future,” he said.
Dangote Oil Refining Company has set the tone on positive community engagement and industrial harmony for others to follow. For the beneficiary host communities in Ibeju-Lekki, brighter and better days lie ahead for their youths. This process is a win-win situation for all.