WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY OLOOTU OMOBA M.O. OYEDELE, CHAIRMAN- ROYAL INITIATIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SAGAMU COMMUNITY AT 2015 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s Annual General Meeting where all stakeholders in Sagamu Local Government will be informed of the activities of our Council- Royal Initiative for the Development of Sagamu Community (RIDSCo)- during the year 2014 in line with the directive of our Royal Fathers at our inauguration.
It is important at this juncture to inform you of minor changes in the membership of the Executive Committee in the outgoing year. The erstwhile Vice Chairman, Prof Kayode Dada resigned his appointment as a result of his few years sabbatical leave outside the country. In order to fill the vacancy created by the resignation, the Executive Committee appointed Sir Prof Odutola Osilesi the former General Secretary as the new Vice Chairman while Mrs. A.O.A. Adesanya was moved to the substantive General Secretary position from Assistant General Secretary.
As reported in the previous year, we are glad to inform this gathering that the processes leading to the registration of Royal Initiative for the Development of Sagamu Community (RIDSCo) by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja has been completed. Also worthy of mention to you is our website which was affected by the change in name. Our new website now is www.ridsco-ng.org and not www.scdc-ng.org which was previously in use before the change of name. All our previous activities with the name Sagamu Community Development Council had been uploaded into the new website and are trending.
As usual, the details of RIDSCo’s activities for the period 1st June, 2014 to 31st May, 2015 as contained in the brochure already circulated, will be presented formally by the General Secretary shortly.
However, it is worthwhile for me to highlight few areas for emphasis of their being dear to our hearts: –
Employment Policy: – We have continued our serious engagement on LafargeHolcim’s employment policy which had been on for some years now. It is expected that sooner than later, the Company will release to us the employment policy of the company which will adequately take care of the policy on employment of indigenes of the catchment area, i.e. Sagamu Local Government/Remoland and by extension Ogun State; proper progression for indigenes in the company’s employment without sacrificing merit and enabling environment for indigenes to occupy executive and managerial positions within the company.
We will like to take this medium to appreciate the Company for the appointment of our daughter, Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo as the CEO, Cement, LafargeHolcim covering all the Cement operations of Lafarge Africa Plc (a member of LafargeHolcim) in Nigeria. We wish her a successful tenure.
Community Water Project: – The process of implementing this project has commenced. The preliminary design has been completed by the Consultant and report presented to the company is being studied. The cost for the 7,600m3/day output capacity is estimated at total cost of N632.60 million and it is hoped that its realization would be in a not-too-distant date. RIDSCo is aware of certain hurdles that have to be cleared, but I am hopeful that with strong commitment and cooperation of all concerned, which include Ogun State Government, the project will be realized in good time.
Remo Teni Radio Programme: – With the support of LafargeHolcim, Remo Teni Programme on OGBC 2, 90.5FM is back on stream. It is aired on Mondays between 11:30am to 12:00noon in Remo dialect. Our people are enjoined to listen to the programme regularly.
Sagamu Youth: We note with serious concern that the intractable crisis within the Youths in the Local Government still lingers on unresolved. This has denied our Council the opportunity to effectively make use of the Youths in our operations. The latest position is that the Ministry of Youth and Sports has directed the Transition Chairman of Sagamu Local Government to use his good office to stem the dangerous tide of events with the Youth Association by convening a Stakeholders meeting involving all the Youth interest groups and resolve the issue. We hope the Chairman will act on this letter without undue delay so that peace can be allowed to reign within their rank and file. In the meantime, our Council as a neutral umpire has been instructed by the Royal Fathers to wait until the authentic Executive of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Sagamu Local Chapter is elected before working with their representatives. The letter from The Ministry of Youth and Sports referred to above is published in this brochure.
Wapco Sagamu Works Landowners Association: It will be necessary in this address to let you know the position of the issues affecting the above Association which is being addressed by our Royal Fathers. Hitherto, on presentation of Projects to be pursued by the Association to the Council, funds were released to them annually from the Council’s budget to undertake these projects. It will be of interest to you to know that a total of #69.09Million had been released to them between 2007 and 2014.
It has however been discovered that there is little or nothing to show by way of projects executed with these funds. Furthermore, it was discovered that under their programme termed “Yearly Financial Reward” cash were distributed to their members contrary to Lafarge Africa Plc policy that under no circumstances should any individual or body be given any cash out of the amount released to the Community to fund projects.
In view of the above, the Royal Fathers have resolved that henceforth no fund should be released to the Landowners again particularly in view of the fact that they signed an agreement with WAPCO management as far back as 2005 when they were paid a lump sum representing the full and final settlement of all their outstanding claims, funds and monies due to them in respect of the 1974 Land acquisition from them by the Government.
This of course will be without prejudice to the advice given to the Community by WAPCO that the Community could include projects specifically targeted at them in the yearly projects provided they submit acceptable projects to the Community which will be executed along all other Community projects.
The Appalling State of Roads In Sagamu Local Government: This address will be incomplete if we do not mention the appalling state of our roads in Sagamu Local Government. This is quite worrisome. The link roads are in terrible state just as the major ones, except Akarigbo road which is still under construction and are also in deplorable conditions. While thanking His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the Executive Governor of Ogun State for his efforts on Akarigbo road, we want to appeal to him to urgently look into how he can collaborate with the Federal Government to find a way to do a total reconstruction of Sagamu-Ikorodu road. The State Government should also as a matter of urgency commence the completion of Akarigbo road, construction or rehabilitation of Sagamu-Odelemo-Emuren road, Oba Erinwole Awolesi Bypass, Igbepa-Simawa road and Sagamu-Ikenne road. Going by the influx of companies into our community, these roads are of great economic importance to not only Sagamu Local Government and her people, but Ogun State in particular and Nigeria in general.
May I at this point express profound appreciation for and on behalf of our Royal Fathers, RIDSCo and the entire community, to LafargeHolcim, its management and staff for keeping faith on Corporate Social Responsibility initiative for our community particularly on their unrelenting assistance in giving palliative measures to Sagamu internal roads particularly Oba Erinwole Awolesi Bypass.
We also wish to appeal to the Transition Chairman of Sagamu Local Government Council to see what he can do in rehabilitating all internal roads in the town which are in serious deplorable and unacceptable conditions.
I now turn my attention to other companies and industries within Sagamu Local Government. For reasons not entirely within the control of RIDSCo, contacts with them including Nestle Flowergate Factory, Sagamu on Corporate Social Responsibility have not yielded much dividends. The Business/Industrial Committee of RIDSCo is not resting on its oars as new approaches that will engender positive results are being initiated, with the ample support of RIDSCo’s Executive Committee. It is hoped that RIDSCo will be in a position to present a better report on this aspect at the next AGM.
At this juncture, I can confidently say that the cooperation and collaboration between LafargeHolcim and RIDSCo satisfy the local mantra which states that “If the right hand washes the left and vice versa, both hands will be made quite clean”.
However, the world is moving from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to Corporate Social Sustainability (CSS). This makes CSR a matter of course and shifts the real focus on its sustenance. In this connection, organizations can achieve real and abundantly profitable growth when they make community engagement for focused and sustainable development, an integral part of their corporate values and policies. All industries and companies within Sagamu Local Government should please take adequate note of this new approach to CSR.
Request for the Construction of a Modern Cement Plant in Sagamu: To optimally benefit from Lafarge Africa Plc’s almost 40 years existence in our Local Government taking into consideration the vast land acquired and large limestone deposit in the land, we have written the Country CEO of LafargeHolcim Plc (Lafarge Africa Plc new name) to consider the need to construct a modern Cement Plant in Sagamu. This will lead to the construction of a dry process Plant which is dust free than the wet process Plant currently in use. It is even in Lafarge’s interest to approve this request and which is long overdue, in view of the fact that the existing Plant is not cost effective and is not yielding maximal return on their investment. It is a win-win situation to both parties. We are determined to pursue this request on your behalf vigorously.
In concluding this address, let me assure our Royal Fathers, Council Members and the generality of our people that RIDSCo will continue to diligently pursue the execution of well-meaning projects in a prudent manner, for the benefit of our people and community. We are confronted on a daily basis with numerous requests from different quarters, some as sundries as payment of house rents, school fees, etc. However, it must be stated clearly here that RIDSCo is neither a government nor an agency of government and its resources are quite limited. We are guided strictly by LafargeHolcim Corporate Social Responsibility policy which focuses on four priority areas namely,: Education and Youth Empowerment, Shelter (basic infrastructure development), Health and Safety. I therefore urge all and sundry to take full cognizance of these facts and be guided by them in the quest for RIDSCo’s intervention on projects.
May I at this point express profound appreciation for and on behalf of our Royal Fathers, RIDSCo and the entire community, to LafargeHolcim, its management and staff for keeping the faith on CSR initiatives for our community.
I also wish to express deep gratitude on behalf of RIDSCo Executive Committee, as well as the Council and Sub- Committees, to our Royal fathers for being there for us all the time. A big thank you from the bottom of my heart goes to all members of the Executive Committee, the Council, Chairmen and members of all the Sub-Committees, for their support and cooperation.
Thank you all for coming and God bless.
Olootu Omoba M. O. Oyedele,
LL.B (Hon.), B.L., MNIM, FCIPM