Youths in Ogun State, under the auspices of the Yewa North Patriotic Forum, have decried the negative impact of the operations of the Dangote Cement Plant in Ibese, Yewa North Local Government Area of the state.
The youths claimed that the company has contributed nothing meaningful to their community other than continuous environmental degradation.
They expressed their grievances in a letter addressed to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, a copy of which was obtained by Newspot correspondent in Ogun State on Friday.
“The company has turned itself into a clog in the wheel of progress for residents, micro, small and medium-scale businesses struggling to survive amid worsening economic conditions which has further created an unfriendly operating environment,” the letter said.
The youths further stressed that the continuous destruction of electrical poles in the areas has thrown several communities into darkness.
The letter which was signed by the President and General Secretary of the group, Adeyemi Sunday and Fatolu Ganiyu, respectively, listed villages affected by the power outage as Joga, Iboro, Igbogila, Eegua, Igan Alade, Ijoun and Imasayi, among others.
The group also lamented that Dangote has ignored an agreement reached with the community on inception of the company.
“After enduring many life threatening activities of the Dangote Cement, we hereby send our serious warnings to the management of Dangote Cement, Ibese, and all the necessary stakeholders to wake up from their slumbers and do what is adequately required from them under the law and in line with Community Development Agreements policy for a continued communal relationship and peaceful co-existence that will favour both parties,” the youths threatened.
The youths demanded speedy repair and restoration of power in the affected areas; empowerment programmes, provision of employment opportunities for graduates who are indigenes of the host communities and reconstruction of roads damaged by Dangote Heavy Trucks.
“The operation of the company has consistently and persistently led to environmental degradation of the area, water, air, and land pollution, destruction of natural habitation, and waste disposal systems that are harmful to the health of our people.
“As projected and expected, our youths are not gainfully employed in the company, no tangible empowerment for our people and our roads are bad.”
When contacted, Media and Communications Officer of the plant, Francis Awowole Browne, did not respond to the allegations.
He promised to get back, but has not done so as the time of filing this report.