By Victoria Onehi
Beneficiaries have commended Lafarge Africa’s for its Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme.
A statement by Lafarge disclosed that the beneficiaries went through intensive training in mechanical engineering, welding and fabrication, aluminum doors and windows processing, block molding, fashion designing, computer, making of confectionaries, poultry and feed making.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Ruth David Peter, from Ekong Anaku community said: “Lafarge sent me on training in fashion design for one year and after that, they gave me starter packs including a sewing machine. I saved the stipend they were giving me during my one-year training from October 2020 to October 2021 to rent this shop. Since I started sewing, I have bought two additional machines from the money I made from sewing.These two girls here are undergoing training under me for free. As the company trained me for free, I am also training them for free.”
Similarly, Kashang Martin Obiri, also from Ekong Anaku community who is currently studying Computer Science at the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS, said that he obtained training in welding and fabrication and got starter packs at the end of his training. “My training lasted for one year and six months. I can apply the knowledge I gathered during the training anywhere in the world. I am very grateful to Lafarge for sponsoring me for the training. I have been using the skill I learnt to support myself in school,” Obiri said.
16-year-old Favour Baron Odok from Kasuk Community in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area is undergoing training in mechanical engineering where she is being taught how to fabricate automobile parts as well as fix haulage trucks that need repair. “I specialise in the fabrication of carburetors and injectors of haulage trucks. Very soon I will go across the road to fix one of the trucks,” she said.
Similarly, miss Gift Cletus Ekun said she is a beneficiary of Lafarge Africa’s Skills Empowerment Programme. “I went through Electrical Engineering training. I am through with it, and I have been given admission to study the same Electrical Engineering at the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS. I thank Lafarge because what they taught helped me to prepare for university education. May God bless Lafarge,” Miss Ekun said.
Another beneficiary, Edwin Etta, from Mboby community, Akampka LGA said that through the company’s empowerment scheme, he benefited immensely from the training in block-molding and bricks making. “Since last year, after I finished training, my life has improved, and I am very happy now. I even chose where to work because what I learnt from the Lafarge training can hardly be given to you anywhere else,” Etta said.
Speaking on the development, the Community Relations Committee Chairman for Mboby community in Akampka LGA Ntufam Alphonsus Bassey, commended Lafarge for the support it has been rendering to the communities. He said “in terms of human capacity development, the building solutions company stands head and shoulders above many companies operating in the host communities.”
Also appreciating the support of the company in the state, Director of Environmental Quality Control
Cross River State Ministry of Environment said Akpa Agbor,“The people and government of the state sincerely appreciate the positive impact of Lafarge Africa Plc through the implementation of its CSR programs. These gestures have gone a long way to touch lives in the host communities in particular and the state at large.”
In his view, Mr. Benedict Okache, Director of Information and Orientation, Cross Rivers State Ministry of Information, noted that Lafarge Africa Plc, Mfamosing plant has over the years sustained a robust CSR programme that has been impacting positively on the socio-economic life of host community members.