By Etuka Sunday
In yet a major philanthropic move, the Dangote Coal Mines Ltd said it has offered scholarship to members of the host communities in Benue.
This, the company said, came barely four months into coal mining operation at Effeche Akpalli in Ugbokolo Ward of Okpokwu Local Government of the State.
The company also distributed palliatives to the mining communities to cushion the effects of covid-19 lockdown.
This is coming on the heels of a recent disbursement of scholarship to communities in Ankpa, Kogi State, where the company also carries out coal mining.
In Benue, ten members of the Effeche community who are currently studying in higher institutions of learning benefitted from the fund.
It is said to be the first scholarship fund to be rolled out by the Dangote Coal Mines in Benue.
The Governor of the State Samuel Ortom had said, soon after Dangote Group paid N700milliom in tax, that without the company, there would have been economic vacuum in the state.
The company is adjudged to be Africa’s largest donor, and second biggest employer of labour, after government in Nigeria.
The Head of Dangote’s mining operation in Benue, Mr. Dillip Taman, said the scholarship was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the company, adding that the company takes the plights of the host communities very seriously.
He said the company is kick-starting several other projects contained in the Community Development Agreement.
The chairperson of the Okpokwu Local Government Amina Audu, who was represented by the Leader of the Legislative Council, urged the beneficiaries to use the money efficiently, while urging the company not to relent in the annual scholarship scheme.
A community leader Chief Samuel Ameh said the community was desirous of ensuring a smooth operational turf for the company, saying a peaceful coexistence was a major prerequisite for profitability and community development.