*Govt pledges to ensure effective monitoring, compliance
*N500m to be committed to community development in Funakaye LGA
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya CON, has presided over the signing of Community Development Agreement (CDA) between Ashaka Cement Plc and host communities in Funakaye Local Government Area of Gombe State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the DG (Press Affairs) Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, dated Wednesday November 8, 2023.
The groundbreaking event, which took place at the Funakaye Local Government secretariat on Tuesday, was the first-ever CDA of its kind in the over 40-year history of the Ashaka Cement Company’s presence in the area.
As part of this agreement, the company has pledged to invest 500 million naira within the specified timeframe.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources, Sanusi Ahmed Maidala.
The commissioner expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are pleased to witness the long-anticipated signing of this Community Development Agreement. Through this agreement, we anticipate increased benefits for the host communities from the company’s presence in their area. Our commitment involves diligent oversight to ensure that all projects and programmes, as mutually agreed upon within this CDA, are fully carried out by the company”.
At the event, the immediate host communities of Ashaka, Bajoga, and Bage formally entered into a 5-year Community Development Agreement (CDA) with the cement company.
This CDA encompasses a range of initiatives, including scholarships for community members, training and the provision of modern farming tools to local farmers, classroom construction, healthcare facility development, and water supply among others.
The Managing Director of Ashaka Cement Company, Ibrahim Aminu, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We are delighted to be signing the first CDA with our host communities in the company’s history. We want to reassure our host communities of our continued commitment to support the development of these areas. Even with the CDA in place, we remain dedicated to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We extend our gratitude to all stakeholders for their support in fostering peaceful coexistence with our host communities.”
In his remark, the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Gombe State, Barr. Zubair Muhammad Umar, said the CDA is mandatory upon companies, “this exercise is an obligation done by any licensed mining company for it host communities based on the provision of the the Minerals and Mining Act. We appreciate the effort of Governor Inuwa Yahaya, the Chairman of Funakaye local government and the Managing Director of Ashaka Cement for ensuring that this CDA is done and sealed”.
Speaking on behalf of the host communities, the Chairman of the Community Development Association of Funakaye local government, Alh. Bappah Jalo Bajoga, appealed to the company to comply with the agreement, assuring them of support towards ensuring the implementation of the projects and programmes contained in the CDA.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of Funakaye Local Government, Ibrahim Adamu Cheldu, assured Ashaka Cement Company of more adequate security while appealing to them to keep to the promises made in the CDA.
The event was witnessed by several key figures, including the Federal Mines Officer in Gombe state, Engr. Zakari Adamu, Chairman of the Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) in Gombe state, Abdulmalik Sulaiman, the Permanent Secretary and Director of Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Member Representing Funakaye South in the Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Muhammad Abubakar Dayi, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Funakaye, Alh. Yakubu Muhammad Kwairanga IV, and other relevant stakeholders.