The Dangote Cement Plc says it has raised 30 new entrepreneurs as part of efforts to help bolster food production and ginger the Nigerian economy.
The new entrepreneurs were graduated at the weekend after they successfully went through a three-month intensive entrepreneurial and skill acquisition training on poultry farming and business.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had advocated for Public Private Partnership during his speech at the recent Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Plant Director of the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana, Kogi State, Mr. JV Gungune, said the company’s entrepreneurial scheme is a demonstration of the huge corporate support for government and Nigeria.
The Plant Director who was represented by Engr Wale Adisa, A Senior General Manager, said the President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is one Nigerian who is passionate about Corporate Social Responsibility and philanthropy.
Mr. Gungune told the beneficiaries to leverage on the advantage conferred on them by the scheme, adding that it was a golden opportunity to be selected, trained and empowered.
According to him, the scheme has become necessary as it was not possible for the company to employ every one.
He said the development was as a result of the peaceful co-existence between the company and its host communities.
The Plant Manager harped on the need for the youth to become skilled, and that the era of certificate was gone.
Representative of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in Kogi State, Engr Ezekiel Olufemi Olaitan said the government was happy by the series of economic, social activities, and opportunities being created by the Dangote Cement Plc.
Olaitan urged the beneficiaries not to disappoint Nigerians.
In his welcome address, General Manager, Community Relations and Special Duties, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, said the scheme was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
He added that, of the 30 participants, 18 were females and 12 were males.
Adeyemi said the training was conducted by the Kogi State College of Education (Technical), Kabba, on behalf of Dangote Cement Plc.
“The Dangote Cement PLC, Obajana Plant Empowerment Scheme among many others is aimed at transforming the youth to be skillful, self-reliant and independent.
“This year 2023 Youth Empowerment Scheme was particularly designed at developing selected youth from each community to be not just farmers in poultry (layer egg) producer’s but Entrepreneurs in Agri-cultural Business.
“The programme is equally aimed at eradicating some of the social vices and poverty that have eaten deep into our communities,” he explained.
A Representative of the Provost of the Kogi State College of Education (Technical), Kabba, Dr. Micheal Udoma said the Dangote Cement Plc had empowered the beneficiaries by given them starter packs, bags of grower feed, battery cages, hand gloves, a 60- litre basin, a hand bowl and point of lay birds.
Head of the Dangote Academy, Engr. Wale Adedeji, advised the new entrepreneurs not to rest on their oars, but keep re-investing to achieve profit, saying they can learn from the founder of the company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Speaking, the Bajana of Obajana, Oba Idowu Isenibi, expressed optimism that the programme will help in radically transforming the economy of the Obajana and other communities Kogi State.
In the same vein, the Olu-Apata, Oba Frederick Balogun, thanked the company for the programme, and urged participants to keep investing in the businesses.
Mr. Alolo Victor Eleojo, who spoke on behalf of the graduands, said they have registered a Co-operative Society to help buoy their financial standing.
“As new CEOs, we have formed a co-operative society and do the necessary registrations,” he said.
He promised not to disappoint the Dangote Group and Nigerians as a whole.
Earlier in the cause of the programme, starter packs comprising of medications, vitamins, cages, feeds, 50 layers and poultry farms equipment were given to each of the 30 graduands.