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Dangote Holds Public Disclosure on ďESMPĒ For US$45M Cement Packaging Plant at Queen Elizabeth II Quay
By Edward Tommy
Oct 19, 2011, 17:02
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INTRODUCTION

 

The Dangote Group headed by Africaís richest man, billionaire Ali Dangote will be investing 45 million US dollars in a Cement Packaging Plant in Sierra Leone. Dangote Industries (SL) Limited incorporated in Sierra Leone will be the flagship for this investment.

 

The Dangote Group, a multi billion dollar entity has a wide range of investments in numerous countries in Africa, ranging from South Africa in the South to Algeria in the North and from Tanzania in the East to Nigeria in the West; these investments are in various areas, such as cement, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, petrochemicals, port operations, flour milling etc.

 

STATE OF THE ART PLANT

Queen Elizabeth II Quay will have an installed capacity of 72,000 bags of cement (in 50kg bags) a day. The company will however commence production at 2000 bags a day, and plans to increase this production level to meet market demand. The company also plans to provide employment for 200 skilled and unskilled labour which will vary with the level of production.

 

L-R-EPA-SL Board member K.K Daboh, Hadijatou Jalloh, EPA-SL Chairlady and Dangote Representative Alhaji A. Zubairu

 

As required by law (EPA ACT), the company commissioned a consultancy firm, Messrs TEDA to organise an Environment and Social Management Plan disclosure meeting at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay Cline Town in Freetown.


FORMAL PRESENTATION

Making the formal presentation on behalf of Dangote Industries, Sierra Leone Limited, Senior Engineer Rodney Lewis of TEDA said the meeting was to present the proposed Cement Packaging Terminal, a developmental initiative borne from Dangote. 

 

The crowd at the public disclosure ceremony


Dangote, he said, is a worldwide establishment with investment in areas of flour mill, petroleum and cement production. He said the company is in Sierra Leone to upgrade the cement packaging terminal adding that the cement will arrive in powder form and be packaged at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay before going to the market. For them to be doing this, Mr. Lewis said they need license from government, so as a result, they submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment studies to the Environmental Protection Agency - Sierra Leone in May 2011, but were however asked to submit the Environmental and Social Management Plan in July 2011. The ESMP is a live document which will be updated as the project progresses. The document entails the baseline condition, mitigation measures, incident report mechanism; it also tells the management framework to reduce risk of adverse impact on the environment, local residents and local business throughout the process.


On the impact and mitigation, Engineer Lewis said the project has the issues of Air Quality with the potential impact of dust nuisance during loading and off­loading, on the issue of noise and vibration the potential impact of noise from plant and vehicles, on the issue of emission to water, it has the potential impact of accidental spillage of fuel, oil and chemicals and on the issue of ecology; it has the potential impact of removal of vegetation and disturbance from lighting.

Engineer Lewis then highlighted the benefit the country and people stand to gain. A capital investment of 45 million US dollars, employment of 200 locals in both skilled and unskilled capacities for maximum production, training and job creation for youth population, creating significant number of jobs whether directly or indirectly, supporting Health Education and Youth activities and finally increase government revenues, adding that they intend to be producing a capacity of 72,000 bags per day and 26,280,000 per year.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

There were numerous questions from attendees and other stake holders. The most topical issue was the question of Royalty payments to the community. Various speakers passionately expressed their conviction that Dangote Industries (SL) Ltd should pay royalty to the Fourah Bay Community who they claimed is the landlord.


Another popular issue was the issue of the number of people to be employed. A number of the community people commented that 200 job placements are on the low side, considering the potential output of the plant. Other contributors also appealed for job placements should be limited to job seekers from the Fourah Bay Community. The gender issue of a minimum of 30% (thirty percent) of job places going to women was also well articulated by a member of the meeting.


In response, the representative of Dangote Alhaji A Zubairu, who is also Head of Environment and Safety of Dangote Group and the Consultants TEDA, assured the community that the issue of royalty will be sorted out with the landowner in their lease agreement and that employment places will be determined by the level of production and offered to able and qualified persons.


COMMENTS BY THE EPA Ė SL

Also present were the very able Executive Chairman of the EPA-SL. Mrs. Haddijatou Jalloh and a board member Mr. K.K Daboh.

 

Mr. Daboh in his contribution, assured the meeting that EPA will ensure that Dangote (SL) Ltd meet their statutory obligations by complying with all EPA regulations by limiting to the minimum, environmental, impacts resulting from their activities and put in place all mitigating measures.

 

In her statement, the Chairperson for the Environmental Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL), Haddijatou Jalloh said their mandate is to protect the Sierra Leone Environment for all to get the best from it. She said they thoroughly scrutinised any investment proposal tendered before them, to be fully convinced that it is for the good of the country, noting that they first look at the impact of any proposal before the benefit that will affect the people, then whatís the use of the benefit. She said if the machines used for the packaging process have any affect on Sierra Leone, then there is need for EPA-SL to revisit.


She then urged all Sierra Leoneans to thoroughly monitor the project and urged anyone who is fortunate to be employed to do his or her best. Madame Haddijatou Jalloh promised the meeting that the EPA -SL will ensure that the operations of Dangote will be Environmentally Friendly and that the monitoring regime that will be put in place will be such that the environment will be fully protected. She also reminded the meeting that the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on coming to office empowered the EPA (SL) to enable them effectively carry out their mandate. She finally admonished the community to embrace the company, and called on all to put hands on deck to get the best out of Dangote.

 

COMMENTS BY OTHER STAKE HOLDERS

Also making his views known was the Member of Parliament, Honourable Tunde Lewally, emotionally informed the meeting of his joy to see the successful setting up of this plant come to fruition. He gave assurances to Dangote Industries (SL) Ltd that he will leave no stone unturned to speedily facilitate their business as well as protecting the interest of the community when it comes before parliament.


Alhaji Ibrahim King Imam Fourah Bay Mosque who chaired the meeting observed that this development could not have come at a better time when unemployment is becoming a thorny issue especially the very active members of the community. Sheik Ibrahim King said having a competitive market somehow control price, so with the coming of Dangote cement price will be maintained, adding that the gesture is a laudable one which we all should grab as the benefit involved is of great benefit to the country.


He said Dangote is a well established company worldwide that has improved the economy of the various countries they are operating. He then maintained that if the project is given due consideration by stakeholders, then Sierra Leone and Sierra Leonean stand to benefit tremendously.

The interactive meeting, which was very well attended by a cross section of the community, was also graced by Tribal Heads, Imams, Pastors, Youth Groups, Councillors and a host of other stakeholders among others.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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