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Hinging CSR on technical skills development, the Grand Cereal example

By Princewill Ekwujuru
The development of technical education in Nigeria will in no small way affect the technical manpower growth of the country, if what Grand Cereal and Oil Mill Limited (GCOML) exhibited in Jos, Plateau State is anything to go by, then, there is  sure to be hope for technical education in Nigeria, and that is if other companies in the category of GCOML are ready to help in the upliftment of that sector.

Left: Mr. Joseph I. D. Dada (L), MD, Grand Cereals Ltd, Da Michael Botmang , Ex_Gov. of Plateau State and Da Sir Mr. Gabriel Adeseun, Head of Human Resource, UAC of Nig. Plc flanked by Christopher S. Mancha , Gwon Rwei of Zawan during the opening of the Zawan Community Secondary School Technical Workshop donated by Grand Cereals Limited.
Left: Mr. Joseph I. D. Dada (L), MD, Grand Cereals Ltd, Da Michael Botmang , Ex_Gov. of Plateau State and Da Sir Mr. Gabriel Adeseun, Head of Human Resource, UAC of Nig. Plc flanked by Christopher S. Mancha , Gwon Rwei of Zawan during the opening of the Zawan Community Secondary School Technical Workshop donated by Grand Cereals Limited.

So as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) drive and belief in increasing and improving technical skills in Nigeria,), GCOML said it has completed the building of a technical school in Zawan, Jos,  Plateau State Capital, where it operates.

The company which said its activities are interwoven with the society  in terms of its social effects and because it  is  more concerned about ecology, minority employment, and a host of other social issues has decided to aid technical education in that part of Nigeria.
A statement pointed out  that the  company during the commissioning of the project said it intends to increase its perception amongst the host community and the public at large with the reconstruction of the school.

“The project according to the company is  important to them considering the cordial relationship that exists between it and the host community. “It is a way of showing appreciation and cementing the bond of unity between the company and the community,”the company said. Also primary school leavers, drop-outs and others yearning to improve their technical expertise will now have the avenue to do so through the school, a top management staff of the company had stated.

In effect, if  social responsibility is viewed as an  intelligent  objective that raises concern for the welfare of society which restrains individual and corporate behaviour from ultimately destructive activities, no matter how immediately profitable, and which leads in the direction of positive contributions to human betterment can be taken to involve all the activities less economically attractive and viable, but are socially desirable by members of the society, then the way of GCOML seems right.

However, the concept of social responsibility recognises that each persons is attached to an extended social system on which he or she partly is dependent; Consequently, certain obligations or social responsibilities arise from this attachment. The same reasoning applies to groups and institutions.

For this reason, the net effect of social responsibility is to improve quality of life. It should also emphasise that quality of life is determined by the society. It also harmonises business actions aimed at achieving the traditional economic gains of business (such as profits and growth) with the society’s wants (social benefits).

One area of social responsibility is for business people to consider the needs and interests of others that might be affected by their actions.

GCOML as an integrated foods company with products in the line of  Cereals, Vegetable oils and Animal Feed categories over the years carved a niche as a strong player in  the agro_based industry, employing the best technology and processes in the conversion of locally sourced raw materials into acclaimed brands of superior value.

The activities of GCOML takes place through the operations of the following production units :
There is  a cereal mill capable of processing  maize flour  grits & offal as bye products. The Cereal mill also cleans Sorghum for industrial use, the company hinted the media in a briefing signaling the CSR drive of the company.

Among other activities of the company, is an oil mill capable of processing groundnuts, soya beans, palm kernel and cotton seed into high quality groundnut oil, cotton seed oil, deodorised groundnut oil, cake, soap stock and lecithin.

The company on the other hand has an animal feed plant capable of processing bran and cake from the Cereal and Oil mills. The plant is also capable of processing pelletised poultry feed, cow, pig and fish feed. Incorporated in the feed plant is the concentrate/premix plant. The feed plant has undergone a number of capacity expansion initiatives, the latest being a new ultra modern, fully automated feed plant commissioned in September 2004.

The company has a silos  capable of holding about 16, 000 tones of grains.
As a reward for her commitment and  excellence, the company parades  brands like  soya oil, a heart – friendly edible oil, which won her the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) Endorsement award,   and the Vital Feed which represents farmers’ vital choice for better profit; little wonder the apt use of the company’s tagline Quality for everyday life.

Among others things the MS Award For Quality Product (Bronze), NIS Award For Quality Product ( Silver), NIS Award For Quality Product (Gold) and the NHF distinguished merit Award in  2009.

In his address, Mr. Larry Ettah,  Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer for UAC of Nigeria Plc  stated that the company and all its subsidiary business units which include Grand Cereals Ltd are strongly committed to the development of education in Nigeria. He said that “the choice of the technical workshop built by Grand Cereals Ltd is apt and fortuitous as Nigeria’s claim to fame and greatness rest on technical education, the bedrock of our economic revolution.”

“This initiative by Grand Cereals is in syncronisation with UAC’s Goodness League Initiative which seeks to use education as a worthy platform to prepare our youths for the challenges of effective leadership of our dear country. As a group, we believe it is only through education that our nation’s vision of being among the 20 most developed nations in 2020 can be realized.” He explained.

Speaking further, Larry Ettah said that the donation of technical workshop by Grand Cereals seeks to complement the noble strides undertaken by UAC’s other business units in their corporate social responsibility initiatives to assist educational development across the country.


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