As part of its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, Kogi State, has commenced the training of youth in technical skills under the tutelage of technical units of Dangote Cement Transport, Obajana.
The participating youth were selected from the host communities of Oyo, Iwaa, Apata, and Obajana.
The Technical Skills Acquisition programme, according to the Plant Director, Dangote Cement Plant, Obajana, JV Gungune, is aimed at empowering the youth and developing entrepreneurial skills around its catchment areas.
Gungune told newsmen that the youths which also included female trainees, were mostly secondary school leavers.
Speaking at the inauguration of the scheme, General Manager, Community Affairs /Special Duties, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, said the trainees are being paid monthly stipends while the training lasts. “When completed, the youth will add great value to their communities, Kogi State, and Nigeria,” Mr. Adeyemi said.
Reacting, Divisional Director Transport of the Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Ajay Singh, said some of the areas of training include: auto mechanic, auto electrical, welding and panel beating/fabrication.
The Workshop Manager, Engineer Alfa Adamu, said the trainees were shared into different engineering sections based on their strengths and interest, adding that the trainees have so far spent three months.
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Ravindra Singhvi has assured stakeholders that the proposed merger between Dangote Sugar Refinery, NASCON Allied Industries, and Dangote Rice to form Dangote Foods Plc is expected to yield many benefits, solely for the growth of the business and high returns to all the key stakeholders.
Speaking last week on the Business Morning Programme of Channels Television, Ravindra said that the merger when completed will bring economies of scale to the business. He maintained that the merger would lead to cost reduction as the evolved company will gain with an increase in production. The cost, according to him, will now be spread over many goods.
According to him, Dangote Foods will have operational efficiencies, as there would be a reduction in the time needed to obtain raw materials, fuel, manpower, etc for production. Husk and biomass from Rice and Sugar Units will be useful to generate power for the running of the plants. Also, it is expected that the merger will result in improvement in the supply side of the food industry as many products will roll out of the one-stop food company. The Dangote Sugar Refinery helmsman opined that the merger will further advance the backward integration strategy of the Group as resources, machinery, and skilled manpower are to be harnessed to drive the process.
Dangote Foods Plc, he stated will have the potential for more geographical spread than the legacy companies as the products will be readily available in all the niche markets of the former and even more given the combined assets in terms of manpower, product range, transport, and warehouses.
The company will have a stronger business case for access to capital as the combined business will be bigger and more attractive to lenders, he added.
Speaking on the impact of deregulation of the foreign exchange market, he lamented that many manufacturing companies have sustained forex-linked losses in the period as they made provisions for the slump in the value of the Naira against the dollar. Manufacturers, he noted are making provisions monthly to take care of the fluctuations in the value of the Naira.
He said, ‘The headwinds are really there. So, we have to be careful in provisioning for changes in the value of the local currency. The floating of the Naira led to a massive fall in its value. This has affected our operations in the sugar industry.’