Leading Nigerian cement producer Ashakacem, part of Lafarge, and Savannah Conservation Nigeria (SCN) recently renew a five year-old Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between them.
The MoU emphasised mutual co-operation and the provision of support by Ashakacem plc and SCN. Ashakacem is expected to give the necessary support to SCN in its conservation efforts while SCN is to guide the cement maker in maintaining high environmental standards in its cement operations as well as maintaining good relationships with its neighbouring communities.
Alhaji Abdulkadir Jibril, the chairman of the board of trustees of SCN, said: "We are here as partners of Ashakacem Plc, to help them take care of the environment and have a good relationship with the communities." He added that SCN is going to present a proposal to Ashakacem Plc on how to take care of the environment and the communities. He emphasised the need to bridge the gap between the priorities of the company and the expectations of the local communities.
Engineer Muhammed Mustapha Dagash, MD and CEO of Ashakacem plc said that his company has a sound environmental policy which they are implementing appropriately. He expressed the hope to further develop the sector with the support of organisations like SCN. "We intend to use NGOs like SCN as the bridgehead for trust building," he said. He pointed out that Ashakacem Plc has established a Community Relations Committee (CRC) that meets on a regular basis. We are not unmindful of our status; we will do our best; we need understanding," he implored.