Appreciating the Almighty God – the omnipotent and omnipresent, for giving us this bright day, as well as the grace to attend this ceremony, it gives me great pleasure to heartily welcome everyone to this year’s Sagamu Community/Lafarge Cement WAPCO day. The ceremony has become not just an annual ritual involving the two parties but an occassion deliberately consummated over the years, to showcase the good things resulting in the building of trust and confidence in each other on the basis of dialogue, cooperation, collaboration, transparency and responsibility. Both parties have therefore realized the strong fact that within the context of our communal existence, we need each other to improve our Community and the business of Lafarge Cement WAPCO.

Various projects will be commissioned or presented today on the platform of Lafarge Cement WAPCO’S corporate social responsibility initiatives, which have over the years impacted positively on our people and the Community as a whole. Both parties have cooperated and collaborated effectively and efficiently in getting to where we are today, to the glory of God and great benefit of the two parties.

Most people will be amazed at the level we have reached today in this process, but I must stress though that it was not by fiat or wishful thinking, but by dint of hardwork, commitment and dedication couple with realistic, frank and objective dialogue. Virtually all the projects commissioned in the past two years have put radiant smiles on the faces of our people and the ones for today are no exception. However, the situation has now created serious problems of new vistas of demands from many sectors of our Community beyond what we can cope with.

The Sagamu Community Development Council (SCDC) is gradually being equated to a government, because you will be shocked to know the kind of demands that come to the Council these days even from Government establishments, Judiciary and parastatals which is a reflection of the success achieved to date by the Council in collaboration with Lafarge Cement WAPCO. This has given our people a sense of belonging and great hope. I must warn however that Lafarge Cement WAPCO’S corporate social responsibility initiatives are guided by the company’s global policy.

At this juncture, it is important for me to point out that the greater proportion of the projects undertaken are for the benefit of our youths. The details in the pamphlet for this ceremony captures this essence and you will see some of the facts in the course of today’s ceremony.

The question that may now be asked is that:- “Is Lafarge Cement WAPCO the only organization or multinational operating within our Community? What are the others doing or up to?” I am happy to inform you that your Council is making serious and genuine efforts in contacting Companies in the Community on their corporate social responsibility initiatives. It has not been an easy task, but the Council is resolutely committed to involving all other companies operating within the Community in development programmes. And God willing, we shall succeed.

However, permit me to address the following issues without which I believe this address will not be complete.

  1. BURSARY AWARD FOR INDIGENT STUDENTS: This is an award of N50,000 to 100 final year students of tertiary institutions. Last year the award was given to 72 students. The usual practice is to give the cheques today to the successful students after rigorous test and interview. But we would not be in a position to do that today even though the exercise of the selection has been completed because we still have to confirm the claim of the students that they are genuine students of their various Institutions with porters of the Institutions through the porter system which is presently closed and can only be done after the resumption of ASUU from their present strike.
  2. DONATION OF DESKTOP COMPUTERS, PRINTERS AND UPS TO THE 27 SENIOR AND JUNIOR PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SAGAMU LOCAL GOVERNMENT: We observe that most of the Public Secondary Schools still use the old manual system through the use of type writers in keeping records. This we believe is not acceptable in this computer age. It was therefore decided to donate Computer with Printer and UPS to all the Administrative Offices of all Public Secondary Schools in Sagamu Local Government which will assist them in keep necessary School data in a modern and acceptable manner.
  3. THE ISSUE OF DUST EMISSION: As a result of serious negotiation with the company it has made efforts to reduce the dust emission to internationally acceptable limit including the use of OPCIMATERS, which is the equipment used from time to time to measure the amount of dust that goes into the atmosphere. It is still important that the company should make correction any time it is discovered that the figure is above internationally acceptable limit. The Community should be rest assured that we shall continue to monitor the situation.
  4. DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF SAGAMU/OGIJO ROAD: This is an AL-BA-TROSS in the sea of our relationship with Lafarge Cement WAPCO Despite all efforts made by all stakeholders particularly Lafarge Cement WAPCO to resolve this problem, it has become an in-sur-mount-able problem. While we appreciate the un-quan-tifi-a-ble contributions of Lafarge Cement WAPCO both in kind and cash to resolve this problem, we believe it is time the company takes the bull by the horn and find a way to resolve the problem once and for all. We admit that it is not right and proper for the company to take over the responsibility of the Federal Government of Nigeria since the company pays its taxes and rates as and at when due, but if just for saving and maintaining the image of the company something positive must be done by company.
  5. QUARRY WATER OPTIMIZATION PROJECT: This is a project in which Lafarge/Wapco will treat the water presently being pumped away as waste water into drinkable water which will be supplied to Sagamu Community. This will involve a water treatment Plant of about 300 cubic meters with outrage of 450 cubic meters per day. We hope Ogun State Water Board will give the company the necessary co-operation.

We want to take this medium to express our sincere appreciation to the Board, Managing Director and Management of Lafarge Cement WAPCO for agreeing to execute this project after protracted negotiations spanning over few years. We hope that barring any unforeseen circumstances and in line with our agreement, work should commence on the project before the end of the year.

In conclusion, as the Council has always promised, we will continue to reciprocate Lafarge Cement WAPCO’S kind gestures by doing everything possible to create a conductive environment for the company to operate through cooperative and collaborative efforts that will yield good dividends to the two parties, as stakeholders in this onerous venture and in the good spirit of partnership that works.

Kabiyesis, the chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, once again I welcome you all to this ceremony and thank you for your attention.