Ashaka Cement Plc., a subsidiary of Lafarge Africa Plc., and member of LafargeHolcim held a groundbreaking ceremony for the eight kilometres Maiganga Concrete Road Construction in Gombe State.
The Maiganga Concrete Road Construction project is one of such several projects Lafarge Africa Plc has embarked on in the past few months. Another 20km concrete road by the company is currently under construction in its Unicem Mfamosing Plant in Calabar at the cost of about N12bn. The project started last year, and a total length of about 4km have currently been done, including 750 metres dual carriage way and a roundabout.
Chairman, Board of Directors, Ashaka Cement Plc, Mallam Suleiman Yahyah, who welcomed the Executive Governor of Gombe State, his deputy, Emirs, and other special Guests and representatives of the local community to the ceremony, stated that the ground breaking ceremony of Maiganga concrete road construction which was performed by the Governor, is an initiative of the company towards contributing to the socio-economic development of the State of Gombe in the area of infrastructure.
Yahyah noted that the project stands out as the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria by any corporate entity with management practice of social investment and is yet another in the series of its community development projects. He also added that the company recognizes the need to address the significant social challenges of the state and the surrounding communities and has therefore resolved to continue to supplement government efforts and build a greater Nigeria.
Speaking further, he remarked that one of the core values of the LafargeHolcim group is sustainable development and being a subsidiary of this world leader in cement manufacturing, his company upholds this great value and therefore gives great attention and high commitment to care for its local communities.
“For us, being socially responsible is making an investment into the lives and future of both the people and our organization. This explains why we have remained undeterred in our efforts at improving the livelihood of our communities through the provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development, despite the challenges posed to our operations in recent times by the insecurity situation in this region,” he explained.
The Chairman revealed that the project was awarded to a local contractor at the cost of N700million only, with all preliminary work concluded to enable the company commence construction immediately with estimated completion period of 12 months.
Yahyah who stated that choice of concrete in construction of the road is deliberate, to showcase the innovative capability of LafargeHolcim as being experienced in other parts of the world described the anticipated benefits of the road project as enormous, with huge potential to boost economic, agricultural and social activities in the area.
“Concrete roads have a long service life of forty years; whereas asphalt roads last for ten years. Moreover, during this service life concrete roads do not require frequent repair or patching work like asphalt roads. No repair work is expected in the first 10 years for instance. Concrete road has lasted for well over 100 years in other climes. For areas with peculiar terrain, low CBRO, heavy volume of traffic and load-carrying roads, concrete is the perfect answer.” he explained.
Furthermore, “a vehicle, when run over a concrete road, consumes 15-20% less fuel than that on asphalt roads. This is because of the fact that a concrete road does not get deflected under the wheels of loaded trucks. Also unlike asphalt roads, concrete roads do not get damaged by the leaking oils from the vehicles or by the extreme weather conditions like excess rain or extreme heat.”
“Asphalt (bitumen) produces lots of highly polluting gases at the time of melting it for paving. Also, less fuel consumption by the vehicle running on a concrete road means less pollution,” he stressed.
While speaking before performing the groundbreaking, Gombe State Governor, Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo OON, Talban Gombe congratulated LafargeHolcim for the landmark achievement and gave assurance of his government support for the project. He noted with appreciation, the award of the contract to a local contractor and called on the contractor and his Chinese technical partner to ensure the work is executed according to the design and in record time.
In the same vein, Alhaji Adamu Yakubu, Chairman, Akko LGA, who spoke on behalf of the local community, expressed the community’s appreciation to the cement manufacturer for its yearly corporate social responsibility projects and employment of youths in the community. He also assured the company of his local government’s full support.