Oworo Youths Vanguard has described the current action by the Governor Yahaya Bello-led Kogi state government a remedy to future youths’ restiveness around the disputed cement company in Obajana.
In a statement signed by Amari S. Christopher and Obaro Kasim Jimoh, President and Secretary General respectively, Oworo Youth Vanguard called on Governor Bello to evaluate Dangote Cement’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in the last 15 years of its operation to assess the company’s impact in host communities.
They also called for a review of the existing community development agreement between the cement plant and Oworo communities.
“We also demand an evaluation of the level of environmental impact assessment (EIA) compliance at both upstream and downstream operation of the company, and assessment of the need for generic memorandum of understanding (MoU) based on the spirit of unity and progress of the entire Oworo communities.
“These must incorporate the role of our paramount traditional ruler, the Olu of Oworo, in line with international best practice and determine appropriate benefits from the company,” they said.
Oworo Youth Vanguard called for provision of empowerment schemes, scholarship and employment opportunities to their teeming youths.
“Oworo District in Lokoja Local Government Area is the host where Dangote Cement Company Limited, Obajana Plant, is located. The district consists of over 30 communities with a paramount traditional ruler called Olu of Oworo.
“The Oworo Youth Vanguard is the umbrella body of the youths from all the communities in Oworo land saddled with the responsibilities of promoting peaceful coexistence among Oworo youths and to facilitate developmental projects to the entire Oworoland.
“Our concern include the insignificant impact of Dangote Cement Company Limited Obajana on the mining communities (Upstream), the communities around the industrial plants (Downstream) and total neglect of other Oworo communities outside the catchment area not even for corporate social responsibilities anticipated for development.
“We urge the State Government to examine the role of Jakura Marble Industry in mining consent transfer to Dangote Cement Company Limited without consulting with the host communities.
“In case, Dangote Cement Company Limited turned down the above demands, we humbly crave the indulgence of our amiable Governor, His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to terminate the recently acquired mining consent by Dangote Cement Company Limited from the paramount traditional ruler of Oworoland to give room to other progressive investors.”