*receives CEO Lafarge Africa
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya says his administration will continue to work in partnership with Ashaka Cement Company to ensure that the host community and the state in general benefit maximally from the factory’s operations, services and numerous opportunities.
This was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Ismaila Uba Misilli.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya stated this when he received in audience, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El-Dokani on a courtesy visit at the Government House.
He noted that the people of the State have benefited immensely over the years from the businesses Ashaka Cement has developed in the form of marketing, transportation and distribution of the product or from the employment opportunities, expressing the hope that such symbiotic relationship will be sustained and enhanced.
“The role played by Ashaka Cement is omnibus one because Ashaka is a major source of employment, engagement, business and corporate social responsibility for our people. As such we always cherish the cordial relationship between us and we will like to see this cordiality improved in terms of more jobs, business opportunities and CSR”.
The Governor specifically tasked the management of company to consider the employment of young individuals in the State, decrying recent retirement of some personnel which he said has left the State with no any top management Staff in the service of the company.
” Our concern is the employment of our people, I know it has been a topical issue. I know you are in business to make profit but if you extend your hands by way of engaging our people, especially the young and competent ones, that can help in reducing the tension and enhancing cordiality.
“I understand that few of our people that had been in the service of your company were retired or asked to resign, leaving us with no any top management personnel. This may not augur well in the relationship. So I urge you to look into this matter “.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya said both the government and Ashaka Cement Company must work together to ensure bad portions of roads within stretches of Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi , Gombe and Yobe States are rehabilitated to foster free and easy movement of goods and services.
He disclosed that the North East Development Commission has agreed to fund the rehabilitation of the road linking Dukku and Alkaleri, adding that his administration has since awarded contract for the construction of a bridge on the road.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya said he will continue to bring his political weight to bear on any lobbying that could lead to the rehabilitation of roads within the North East.
“With regards to the issue of using your products to pave roads, MD can testify that we had an engagement with North East Governors where I invited Ashaka to make presentation and I think with a little follow up it can be actualized, especially going by the background of the Executive Order 9 which was signed by Mr. President and which I observe other manufacturers like Dangote are already taking advantage of, I feel Ashaka stands to benefit more.
“For me with good roads you can reach people, your products can go to the market and welfare of the people can be improved. So we are ready to join hands with anybody, be it Ashaka any Commission or the Federal Government to enhance the living condition of our people”.
Governor Yahaya used the opportunity to appreciate Lafarge for supporting the state in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with a donation of an ambulance, setting up of an isolation centre in Ashaka and provision of some items.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El-Dokani said the company remains grateful to the people of the State for the hospitality and support since the establishment of the plant some 41 years ago.
He said the company is committed to investing in the plant, expanding capacities, creating jobs as well as jointly looking forward to a prosperous Gombe State, especially the host community.
“We will love to hear from His Excellency the views and vision of the State and where Larfarge generally can support and contribute towards the vision and strategy to develop the communities and the state in general wether on the business side or on the corporate social responsibility”.
Khaled El-Dokani said they rely on the support of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to achieve their corporate social responsibility.
The Managing Director, Ashaka Cenent, Ibrahim Aminu said as part of its corporate social responsibility, the company is already constructing blocks of classrooms in Jalingo village and three more sets of classrooms in three other villages.
He also said the clinic at the factory is being accessed by villagers from the surrounding communities while potable water is being provided to the Maiganga community.