The Honourable Minister of Environment, Mr. Balarabe Abbas Lawal has commended the leading innovative and sustainable building solutions company, Lafarge Africa Plc, for its commitment to Environmental sustainability.
The Minister gave this commendation during a courtesy visit of the company’s management team led by the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lolu Alade-Akinyemi to the Honourable Minister in Abuja yesterday.
In his welcome remarks, the Minister commended Lafarge Africa for the various awards received over the years in environmental responsibility referring to it as a testament to the company’s environmental friendliness.
According to him, Lafarge Africa’s compliance with rules and regulations makes it comfortable to come for a courtesy visit, without waiting for the Ministry to come after them to comply.
He further commended Lafarge Africa for its role as a key player in the cement industry, acknowledging its impact on the nation’s economic growth and development.
The Minister highlighted the environmental challenges associated with the cement industry, emphasizing the importance of compliance with environmental regulations.
The Minister urged Lafarge Africa to fully comply with regulations such as the National Environmental (Non-metallic minerals manufacturing industries sector) Regulations and the National Action Plan for mercury reduction in the cement sector.
He encouraged the adoption of modern, cleaner production and energy-efficient technology to align with global best practices.
Additionally, the Minister requested increased Corporate Social Responsibility, including the construction of toilet facilities in host communities, to strengthen the company’s relationship with them.
He also commended the company on the circular economy which he said is his area of interest and promised to work together with the building solutions company as this is part of the Ministry’s focal strategy of a more hygienic environment achieved by cleaning and sorting and recycling the waste as Lafarge is doing.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Alade-Akinyemi extended warm congratulations to the Honourable Minister on his recent appointment, expressing confidence in the Minister’s leadership to drive the Ministry’s objectives.
Emphasizing Lafarge Africa’s commitment to responsible operations and environmental sustainability, he highlighted the company’s role in the Nigerian construction and infrastructure development sectors over its 60-year history.
“As a key stakeholder, we share in the vision of ensuring manufacturing companies like ours operate responsibly, minimize their impact and contribute to the overall sustainability of the environment. We are confident that under your leadership the ministry will continue to attain its objectives.”
Acknowledging the crucial role of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Alade-Akinyemi appreciated the unwavering support in facilitating the approval of pivotal projects aimed at enhancing Lafarge Africa’s environmental sustainability initiatives.
Notably, he highlighted the swift approval process for Alternative Fuels for kiln firing at the Ewekoro and Mfamosing facilities and the Storage of ash permit for the Ashaka Captive Power Plant project.
He expressed Lafarge Africa’s eagerness to collaborate more closely with the Ministry on climate change and sustainability initiatives. He acknowledged the importance of collective efforts in advancing sustainable practices within the industry.
He further acknowledged the Ministry’s commitment to timely issuance of permits and collaborative annual joint inspections and expressed Lafarge Africa’s eagerness to collaborate more closely with the Federal Ministry of Environment on programs and initiatives to promote environmental responsibility within the industry.
The GMD/CEO of the building solutions company sought the Ministry’s continued support for new projects, modifications, and annual permits, emphasizing its interest in championing a ‘zero waste’ treatment solution and ending open-air burning practices.
The company proposed the implementation of an online process for project approvals and report submissions, aiming to enhance efficiency and reduce environmental footprints associated with traditional paperwork.
At the end of the meeting, both parties expressed optimism about the potential for a strengthened partnership. Lafarge Africa Plc and the Federal Ministry of Environment aim to set new benchmarks for environmental stewardship in the industry, contributing to a sustainable and eco-friendly future.
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