THE ESSENCE OF WELL-STRUCTURED AND COLLABORATIVE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Being a welcome address delivered by Olootu Omoba M.O. Oyedele, Chairman-SCDC, at year 2012 Lafarge Cement WAPCO/ Sagamu Community Day, 18th December, 2012.

Protocols!

With glory to Almighty God and joy in my heart, I welcome you all to this year’s Lafarge Cement WAPCO Community Day, for the presentation of development programmes/projects to Sagamu Community.

About a year ago, precisely on 10th November, 2011, His Royal Majesty, The Akarigbo & Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Sir (Dr.) M.A. Sonariwo, FCA, CON, KJW, Erinjugbo II, and the then MD/CEO of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria PLC, Mr. Samy Abderkader, hosted a similar ceremony, which was far reaching in scope and content. We are at it again this year and shortly, you will all be witnessing the results of the strong cooperation and collaboration between Lafarge Cement WAPCO and Sagamu Community, through the Sagamu Community Development Council (SCDC).

As usual, the development programmes/projects to be presented today cover such salient areas like Security, Education and Youth Empowerment, Health, Safety and the Environment, basic infrastructure and empowerment of members of the Community, with particular reference to Landowners. Details of the projects will be found in the programme pamphlet.

It will however be of interest to state that from the Fund made available to Landowners for their empowerment, out of the money received from Lafarge Cement WAPCO, they have embarked on various projects such as construction of big Fish Ponds for fish farming, purchasing of different products such as Cement for distribution by their members, Land acquisition and giving revolving Loans to their members to assist them in their various businesses.

While the Council makes diligent efforts at protecting the Community interests, it has done so in a careful and polished manner that does not in any way jeopardize the well-being and progress of the Company. We will always strive for continuous improvement in the relationship between Lafarge Cement WAPCO and Sagamu Community.

We have also made deliberate, sincere and conscious efforts to compliment the efforts of the various government establishments at all levels in the development of our Community by carrying them along in our various activities without allowing either party to take over the responsibility of the other. This harmonious relationship we hope will be sustained and made enduring by both parties.

In this connection, we are already in discussion with the Company to fashion out a more open, transparent and accountable process for collaboration in the Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) programmes for the Community. The effect of this will manifest hopefully in a not-too-distant date.

We also wish to place on record the recent Lafarge Cement WAPCO Apprenticeship programme in which Six (6) of our Indigenes have been offered admission into the Company’s apprenticeship programme. The Company also chose two (2) of our young Block Makers for empowerment. We are quite happy and grateful for this laudable programme.

However, while we appreciate the fact that as a multinational, Lafarge Cement WAPCO’s CSR policies and procedures must be for global application in all its operational areas, we also believe that such policies and procedures must be quite flexible to accommodate local factors and realities. There should be no rule without exceptions.

On our part, we will continue to reciprocate Lafarge Cement WAPCO’s kind gestures, by giving strong support and understanding that will create always, the enabling environment for the Company to grow ceaselessly and operate profitably. It is in this wise that we can both build and sustain a solid symbiotic relationship that is mutually and handsomely beneficial to both parties, which I believe is the real essence of a well-structured and collaborative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Once again, I welcome you all sincerely and thank you for your attention.