While launching a set of tricycles donated to various communities in Benue state, Aliko Dangote gave a break -down of the various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives embarked on by Dangote cement, and other payments made to the state. At a sum of over N1 billion annually, Dangote cement may be one of the biggest economic drivers in Benue state after the state government. Here’s a breakdown of the various sums spent in 2016:
- The state received N700 million from the company in respect of taxes.
- N3 million is paid monthly to host communities as vigilante fees.
- N10 million worth of scholarships is disbursed annually as scholarships for students.
- N15 million was spent constructing a bridge at Mkar community.
- Borehole and electrification projects were also carried out in several communities.
- The company also employs some youths from the host communities as part of its Youth Empowerment Scheme.
- 14 classrooms were also constructed in different host communities.
Figures from the 2016 annual report of Dangote cement show the company spent a total of N474 million on CSR in Nigeria. The multiplier effects on the various communities in Benue State are enormous. The presence of electricity means new businesses will spring up in a community, reducing unemployment and increasing tax revenues for the state government. The water projects mean people are less likely to fall sick from river borne illnesses and thus spend less on hospital bills.
Even though N1 billion is a large sum, it forms a minute proportion of the revenue made by the company. Dangote cement made a total of N426.1 billion in 2016 from its Nigerian operations. The huge spend on CSR may be due to the strained relationship the company had with host communities in previous times. When the federal government privatized the company in the year 2000, there were several protests from indigenes of the community, as well as the state government. A combination of court cases and operational difficulties resulted in the company being shut down for over a year, after its privatization.