- Lafarge Africa to Train Truck Drivers With N132m
Lafarge Africa Plc has said it will be investing over N132m to train hundreds of truck drivers in the country in furtherance of its commitment to safety in its operations.
According to the company, the first batch of 200 drivers will be part of a three-year strategic training plan for 600 drivers.
The Director of Logistics, Lafarge Africa Plc, Bruno Hounkpati, said the initiative was the first of its kind in the country.
He explained, “The primary aim of our driving institute is to model drivers’ behaviour from the onset while equipping them with adequate training for truck driving. The school will ensure skilled drivers with safe driving skills that contribute to safer roads and sound trucks in the country.
“It will promote professionalism among truck drivers and also create jobs with our third party transport companies.”
Hounkpati noted that road transportation accounted for 90 per cent of freight and passenger movement in the country and that heavy good vehicles were the dominant means of haulage.
He added that most Nigerian truck drivers graduated from motor mates with inadequate and unstructured training, saying that “the lack of well-trained drivers hampers fleet utilisation, hence productivity and employment opportunities.”
Meanwhile, the company said it recently concluded the training of 42 geologists at its Ewekoro plant and quarry in Ogun State.
It noted that the training commenced in October to afford stakeholders within Lafarge’s areas of operations the opportunity to benefit from its experience and expertise.
Lafarge Africa’s Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development Director, Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said training geologists was one of several ways stakeholders within the firm’s areas of operations benefit from its presence.
She added that it was also as a result of the company’s long-standing relationship and partnership with the Ogun State Government.
“We are committed to the promotion of local content and the development of local capacity. What’s more, our commitment to capacity development aligns with the People, Communities and Climate pillars of our 2030 Sustainability Plan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Ambrose-Medebem said.
According to her, other major CSR projects the company has embarked on to build capacity in the host communities include the Cement Professional Technicians Programme, a three-year development programme for young science-oriented school leavers selected from host communities across the federation, as well as the Technical Apprenticeship Programme.
“Such initiatives are meant to mitigate the dearth of skilled technicians and professionals in the country’s construction sector,” she said.
The training, the company stated, was facilitated by members of Lafarge Africa’s technical staff and the geologists gained theoretical and practical insights from Lafarge Africa’s Training Centre and Quarry in Ewekoro.
The firm added that the Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce, Bimbo Ashiru, awarded certificates of attendance to participants at an event in Abeokuta.