Royal Initiative for the Development of Sagamu Community(RIDSCo) – HISTORY AND EVOLUTION.
A Sagamu Community Development Committee was established by Alaiyeluwa Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo, Erinjugbo II, Akarigbo of Remo in February 1998, for the expressed purpose of harnessing the support of the West African Portland Cement Company (now Lafarge-WAPCO Plc) for sustainable community development projects. Until then, the expression of the Company’s social responsibilities to its Sagamu host community was decided by the Company without much consultation with any organized community group. Not unexpectedly then, many felt that the contributions of the Company were not directed at community needs and the community was being exploited by this industrial giant in our midst.
The Committee, with membership drawn from among prominent citizens of Sagamu, provided a valuable platform for the community and the Company to jointly evaluate community needs and negotiate the contribution of the Company to addressing the needs.
The Committee was reconstituted in 2003 with additional stakeholder representation (including the Sagamu Development Association, Sagamu Youth Council and Association of WAPCO Landowners) and has continued its important task of negotiating and coordinating the company’s support towards development projects in Sagamu.
Since its establishment, the Committee has successfully negotiated an agreed quota of employment for Sagamu indigenes in the company. The capital projects undertaken include the building and equipping of an Information Technology (IT) Centre for the training of community youths, the refurbishment and equipping of a community library, provision of much needed equipment for a state-of-the-art Chest Clinic for the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, provision of water from deep wells and boreholes for all public primary schools, markets, palaces as well as in various townlets in Sagamu LGA. Funding has also been provided annually, for the award of bursaries to indigent students (more than 200 in secondary schools and more than 120 in tertiary institutions), supply of exercise books to pupils in all public primary schools in Sagamu LGA in addition to various forms of youth empowerment and skill acquisition programmes.
On account of continued commercial investment and the establishment of new industries as well as financial institutions in Sagamu Local Government Area, the need for expanding the scope of the advocacy efforts with these new stakeholders towards Sagamu’s development prompted the constitution of a new Sagamu Community Development Council in 2011. At his inauguration of the new Council in May 2011, His Royal Majesty Oba Sonariwo commented, inter alia:
I am very pleased with the enormous strides that have been made in the important task of negotiating and coordinating the contributions of Lafarge-WAPCO to various development projects for the benefit of the citizens of Sagamu. The first part of this ceremony therefore, is to express the deep gratitude of all the people of Sagamu to Asiwaju Onafowokan and members of his Committee for their selfless service and commitment to the furtherance of development in our community.
The membership of the Council includes all relevant non-partisan, non-political stakeholders in the community including nominees of the Royal fathers, various industrial, financial and business groups, ‘Lafarge landowners’, the Sagamu Development Association, representatives of our Youths and experts in environmental matters.
This new SCDC will be the think-tank for Sagamu’s development and the scope of its mandate is wide. I expect that its day-to-day activities will be undertaken by its Executive Committee (EXCO) which will coordinate all that would ensure economic development, industrial growth, peace and security, health and safety, educational advancement as well as the preservation of our cultural heritage. The EXCO will thus liaise on behalf of the Council, with all development partners including industrial and financial enterprises in Sagamu.
The 45-member Council, under the chairmanship of Olootu-Omoba Michael Oyedele, was charged to be the think-tank for Sagamu development and thus, the scope of its mandate is wide. Its day-to-day activities are undertaken by its Executive Committee (EXCO) which co-ordinates the activities of EIGHT Committees, each dedicated to specific responsibilities focusing on:
- Business and industrial growth
- Peace and security
- Health and safe environment
- Education and youth empowerment
- Inter-governmental relations
- Land matters
- Project monitoring
The Council is in active dialogue with all business and industrial companies in Sagamu, to affirm the community as a ‘partner-in-progress’ for veritable industrial and commercial development and thus ensure future prosperity in Sagamu through appropriate investment, trade, employment opportunities as well as the benefits accruing from corporate social responsibilities.
The reports of the Council’s operations have been published and presented annually since July 2012 and are available on this website.