Gombe - No fewer than three villages will be relocated to protect residents from environmental hazards, as a result of the expansion of the Ashaka Cement Company.
Tony Okpara, the company’s General Manager, Projects, disclosed this in Ladde-Bage village of Funakaye Local Government Area of the state on Thursday during the foundation-laying ceremony of some projects.
He named the three communities as Lariski, Darumpa and Malari, and said the company was preparing to spend N262 million on the relocation.
The General Manager said the amount would be spent on the construction of 55 houses, three blocks of classrooms, clinic, mosque and three boreholes for the affected communities.
“They (villages) will be relocated to Ladde-Bage village to facilitate the excavation of the affected environment.
“This will follow the excavation of limestone in the area for the purpose of cement production,’’ he said.
Okpara said the construction work was awarded to 13 indigenous contractors, who were expected to complete the job within three months.
He said the company had earlier acquired 40 hectares of land in order to relocate the affected communities.
Lionard Volger, the company’s Managing Director, expressed their appreciation and assured the residents that Ashakacem would not toy with its corporate social responsibility.
He expressed optimism that the contractors would deliver the jobs according to specification and on schedule.
Also speaking, Umar Kwairanga, Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, said the projects were just about one per cent of what the firm planned for the host communities.
Kwairanga also assured the communities that the company would sustain its corporate social responsibility efforts.
He assured that the company made a careful selection of the contractors before the contracts were awarded.