Lafarge Africa Plc., a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building solutions company and member of Holcim, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, has announced the graduation of its first set of female drivers from the Lafarge Driving Institute (LDI) in Calabar, Cross River state. This reiterates the company’s commitment to inclusive workplaces for women, a deliberate pledge to Gender Diversity, all round safety on Nigerian roads through the availability of qualified drivers within its operations, and creation of jobs around its host communities.
While speaking during the graduation ceremony, the County Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Khaled El Dokani, stated that the graduation of the first set of female drivers from the Lafarge Driving Institute aligns with the company’s deliberate policy on gender diversity which underscores its overall commitment to sustainability and promotion of a healthy, safe and inclusive work environment.
“The Lafarge Driving Institute was set up to ensure safety on our roads as enrollees are taken through months of rigorous training and practical sessions on the road as well as simulator exercises that expose them to defensive driving techniques. Upon their graduation, they are absorbed as a key part of the logistics value chain to ensure the adequate and timely delivery of products to customers in a safe, efficient and timely manner”.
The Chief Financial Officer Mr. Lolu Alade-Akinyemi said that Lafarge Africa is constantly investing in critical areas of the business to guarantee safety of all stakeholders at all times. He noted that Lafarge Africa is committed to sustainability and innovation as the vision is to be the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. He remarked: ‘On the 24th of March 2021, the Lafarge Drivers’ Institute (LDI) in partnership with Automated Integrated Services Limited admitted 53 female trainees to embark .
on a female truckers training project. Today, 4 months after, we are here to celebrate a successful implementation which has brought about the female graduates from the training project, marking the fourth batch of skill acquisition from the LDI. We are indeed proud of this achievement’.
The Project Lead – Country Logistics Safety Manager, Bolaji Anani, the Country Logistics Safety Manager while commending the female graduates provided an overview of the LDI as well as highlighted that the female drivers will work with the team to ensure the adequate and timely delivery of our products to our esteemed customers in a safe, efficient and timely manner.
Speaking on the positive effect of Lafarge Africa’s operations on its host communities, the Cross-River Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr., commended the company for highly impactful interventions that continue to cater for the needs of host communities. He also commended Lafarge for establishing the Driving Institute in Cross River as it has contributed to the state government’s initiatives at empowering the people through skills acquisition. Also, the Cross-River State Commissioner for International Development, Dr Inyang Asibong, charged the beneficiaries to be safety conscious at all times in line with the knowledge acquired from the Lafarge Driving Institute.
Also present at the event were the Cross-River State Honourable Commissioner for International Development, Dr. Inyang Asibong, the Head of Health Safety and Environment, Lafarge Africa Plc, other community leaders and representatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).
It will be recalled that the Lafarge Driving Institute was launched on October 16, 2017 as part of a partnership between Lafarge Africa Plc, Automated Integrated Services Limited and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to address professionalism and ensure that Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) are manned by professionals who have passed through a comprehensive training program tailored to the needs of Nigerian truck drivers. As part of its commitment to gender equality and inclusion, the institute started the pilot female truckers’ scheme earlier in the year with the admission of 53 female trainees which marked the fourth batch of skill acquisition training from the institute.