Sustainable Partnership: Dangote Cement gives free medical treatment to the aged in host communities
By Adetokunbo FAKEYE
Nigeria - The management of Dangote Cement Plc has pledged commitment to complementing the efforts of the Government at all level to make life more meaningful to the citizenry especially the old people through provision of life enhancement and welfare programmes.
(L-R) Dangote Cement Plc,, Ibese Plant General manager, Human Asset Managemnet/Admin, Aina Olugbenga; a beneficiary, Elder Rasak Bakare; Dangote Cement Plc, Head of Social Performance, Wakeel Olayiwola; Mrs. Dupe Olajubutu, a beneficiary; Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant Director, Nawabuddin Azad and Mrs. Alirat Ogunbiyi, another beneficiary digging it out in dance during the event held at Ibese, Ogun state.
The Ibese Plant of the company's Director, Azad Nawabuddin, made the position of the company known when the plant hosted and celebrated senior citizens from its 17 host communities at the weekend in Ibese, Ogun State.
Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant Director, Azad Nawabuddin (2nd right) with the senior citizens receiving free medical attention during the programme.
The event, dubbed "A-day Out with Senior Citizens 2003", a first of its kind in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, was dedicated to the elderly ones to give them a sense of inclusivity, with provision of free medical services, physical exercise, cultural dance display as well as take home kit bag containing items needed by the aged people.
Nawabuddin explained that Dangote Cement has always been in the fore front when it comes to initiatives that will make the life of the people better and that there is no better way to do this than through the host communities which accommodate Dangote businesses.
"This occasion marks the beginning of a social development initiative of Dangote Cement Plc., Ibese Plant with focus on a very important group of our society and respected stakeholder segment to the Company, which is the circle of the elderly who have used their youthful years to build the society we all enjoy today", he said.
Addressing the elderly ones, the Dangote Cement boss noted: "Your sacrifices and service to humanity as civil servants, military officers, farmers, traders and family/community heads remain the bedrock on which the present economy is built and the staunch foundation of the emerging ones. Aging is a blessing, which we all crave and pray for; However, it comes with its own unique challenges.
"As we age, our physical and health wellbeing begin to wane, as well as the agility, resourcefulness and socialization. This stage could be most exigent, especially when there is no deliberate programme to take care of the elderly".
Based on the foregoing, the Plant Director stated that Dangote Cement as a responsible corporate organization with very strong bonding and partnership with the host communities, decided to facilitate the programme to enable the Senior Citizens socialize and relate with their peers from other communities, with the hope that the event would bring back good memories, spring excitement and reinvigorate their mind.
"Our deep concern for the wellness of the elderly in our host communities is being demonstrated through the medical services that we are providing, in partnership with an indigenous health service provider, Novia Health Services, at this programme", the Plant Director noted.
He added that the hosting of the senior citizens in the host communities further underscored the Company’s commitment to fulfilling the Plant’s obligation as provided in the Community Development Agreement with our 17 host communities.
"We are dedicated to continuous improvement of our relationship with our hosts and will continue to strive to invest in programmes and projects that will contribute to the upliftment and prosperity of our people.
"We have established annual empowerment programs for the Students, Youth, Women and Farmers across the host communities in addition to annual provision of infrastructural projects within the four approved thematic focus areas. We are quite happy with the positive impacts these initiatives are making with the support of the community stakeholders and government at all levels, and are poised to continuously improve on them by regularly exploring opportunities that will enable us add more value to the lives of our people, as we continue to work together as partners", the plant Director stated.
He then commended the resourcefulness of the implementing partner Novia on the maiden edition, as evidenced in the impacting package and quality service delivery pointing out that the dexterity of Novia in health care delivery was not the only consideration for the selection, but more importantly is the opportunity for local content development, which Dangote Cement strive to continue to deepen in its business.
Mr. Nawabuddin charged that much as Dangote Cement is dedicated to complementing the efforts of the Government in this regard, it expects the stakeholders and partners to reciprocate the Company’s good gesture by contributing their quota towards the good of the organization as well as ensuring peaceful co-existence, through equity participation and consistent understanding.
He showered encomiums on the senior citizens for the peace enjoyed in the communities attributing it to the different roles they are playing especially in counselling the young ones to always eschew violence in their dealings and then wished them long life in sound health and with increasing positive impact.
In his remark, the Head of Social Performance, Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant, Ademola Ojolowo explained the motivation behind the programme saying ageing is a blessing and a cause of celebration, but it also presents several challenges for both the aged and the society. Most of our aged people often live monotonous lives, with little or no opportunity for funfair
"In other to complement the effort of Government at improving the quality of life for senior citizens, Dangote Cement Pls Ibese Plant Management approved a One-Day Care Program for Senior Citizens across the seventeen host communities. This maiden edition of the program tagged "A Day Out with Senior Citizens, 2023" seeks to provide socialization and emotional support for fifty (50) beneficiaries, with a range of activities including physical exercise, health talk, medical check-ups, games, and entertainment such as cultural display, music, jokes etc.
The beneficiaries, according to him, went home with kit bags containing items such as branded towel, blanket, cardigan, Adire, transistor radio, torchlight, beverages/toiletries, as well as some cash for transportation.
The program is expected to increase the level of socialization, engagement, emotional and mental wellbeing among the elderly and enhance Dangote Cement’s reputational capital.
While expressing the appreciation of the elderly ones to the management of Dangote Cement, Ibese Plant, Pastor Akanbi Moses, an eighty year old from Aga-Olowo Community described the programe as a very rare one in their entire life noting that it was usual for corporate organisations to care for the youths, adults and children in their host communities but recognition of the elderly ones was not common.
He then commended Dangote Cement management for the initiative. We know of scholarships for our children, we know of the empowerments or the youths and our women, now the management said it is our turn to be hosted with free medical tests and drugs, health kits and household items to keep us happy. We thank Dangote Cement for this.
In her own appreciation, Mrs Dupe Olajubutu, a 73 year old from Imasayi community said it was good that Dangote Cement does not discriminate in its approach to caring for the host communities because the decision to host the elderly ones is a clear indication that the company cares for all.
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