As part of efforts to give back to the people and provide succour during the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus Pandemic, Dangote Granite Mines Limited, a subsidiary of Dangote Group has provided food palliatives and scholarships to five communities in Ijebu-Igbo in Ijebu North local government area of Ogun State.
The palliatives were taken round the communities and handed over to the people while the cheques for the scholarship awards were handed over to the Ijebu-Igbo monarch in his palace, who in turn gave them to the community heads for onward distribution to their children.
Leading the management team of Dangote Projects to the Ijebu-Igbo palace, Mr Fola Ebenezer Ali, the Group General Manager, Human Resources said the company would continue to do whatever will promote progress in the communities within which the mines granite.
He explained that the management would have loved to gather the awardees together in an elaborate ceremony but because of the global safety protocols to follow in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was why the management presented the cheques to the Royal Father who in turn would present them to the heads of the communities.
According to him, the cheques for the secondary school beneficiaries were made out in the names of individual pupils while those of the higher institutions across the country were drawn in the name of institution where the students are studying.
Ali explained further that the food palliatives had earlier been distributed to the families before the ease of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT, and that various food items were given out to cushion the effect of the lockdown on the people whose sources of livelihood have been badly affected.
“We would have done this long ago but for COVID-19; we however thank God that we are starting the distribution of scholarship and bursary awards now in Ijebu-Igbo. We are giving out scholarship each to indigent students that are indigenes of Ijebu-Igbo who are in various tertiary institutions across the country. Also, we are giving scholarship to each pupil in some Secondary Schools”, he said.
“I promise, on behalf of the company that this won’t be the end of it, it will not be a one-off scholarship and bursary award because Dangote Group plans, like it does for other host communities, to give scholarship and bursary awards to indigent students across its production plants in the country on yearly basis”, the GGM added.
Ali solicited for the cooperation of the people to maintain peace and tranquillity in the area, saying the company can only give back to the host communities people when the company operates without disruption to its operations.
An elated monarch of the town, the Sopelukale of Ijebu-Igbo, Oba Mufutau Yusuf, Erinkiola 1, expressed his people’s appreciation to Aliko Dangote for the good gestures in alleviating the hardship faced by the people.
The royal father said the food palliatives came at the right time when families were finding it difficult to eat and feed their children and that “not minding the Coronavirus pandemic, he has come again to give us scholarship. We really appreciate this.”
He assured the management team that the people would not disappoint the company and would do all to maintain peace in the community, saying his people are peace-loving.
The royal father said “On behalf of the entire Ijebu-Igbo, I express our gratitude to Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the palliatives sent to us at Ijebu-Igbo here in Ogun state. I am happy about the scholarship and bursary awards being given to our sons and daughters, but I will implore that this should not be one-off project, it must be a continuous gesture because if we don’t continue this, many pupils and students intended, may drop out and it wouldn’t be meaningful. Hence, I urge Dangote Group to continue this lofty and laudable gesture.”