As part of efforts to promote a green and healthy environment and empower communities, Rite Foods Limited, makers of Nigeria’s favourite Bigi drinks, Rite sausages and leading energy drink brand, Fearless, has trained 30 youths in Ilashe Community of Lagos State.
Partnering with the German Development Corporation (GIZ), and working closely with the German government, the initiative also involve the federal Ministry of Labour and Employment which identifies areas or communities where they can train people and enhance their skill sets to be better employed and earn a living so they can make an impact in their community.
The initiative termed ‘Rite on the Beach’ is a social enterprise by Pop Beach Club, which sets up recycling ecosystems in coastal communities that lack disposal infrastructure and have high rates of pollution and poverty. Local youths are trained in green jobs, environmental services, tourism as well as entrepreneurship to work in jobs created on the island and other coastal areas of Lagos.
With ‘Rite on the Beach,’ social plastics are prevented from getting into the ocean thereby stopping plastic wastes from destroying ocean life. Collection locations are set up and indigenes of the communities are employed to manage the ecosystems.
The plastics collected are sent to the city to be recycled and the proceeds are used to provide scholarship opportunities for 300 primary school students while creating green jobs for youths in the community.
His Excellency, Mr. Alexander Ernst, Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nigeria, who was also chairman at the launch of the social enterprise commended Rite Foods Limited for promoting initiatives that have huge impact and help communities strive for better lives.
“Rite Foods has really set a tone in terms of its corporate social responsibility by not only increasing awareness but proffering solutions to environmental waste, and I hope that other companies will follow suit,” Mr. Ernst stated.
Akin Disu, Founder, Pop Beach Club, an eco-resort in Lagos said at the event that Rite Foods are the wind behind the initiative’s wings.
“Rite Foods Limited is the wind beneath our wings. It is because of Rite Foods we can do this because they underwrite the risks involved and allow such an initiative easy for us to undertake,” Mr. Disu added.
The convener also explained further that the goal of the initiative is to go ‘plastic neutral.’ He therefore urged all stakeholders to emulate the initiative and go plastic neutral for a healthier environment.
Mienye Mimi Badejo, Head, Migrant Resource Center and Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Lagos, lauded Rite Foods for sponsoring the initiative.
According to her, “Rite Foods is doing things right. The company is identifying and bridging gaps by promoting a healthy green environment and creating opportunities in coastal areas which every stakeholder should key into. Dirt collected from the ocean and coastal areas can be used to create art, recycle and create labor indices for future training,” she said.
She further stressed that such an initiative is needed to curb the growing unemployment in the country, while also adding that it is a viable and green initiative that encourages us to improve the planet, which are some factors for irregular migration.
Mr. Seleem Adegunwa, Managing Director, Rite Foods Limited reaffirmed the company’s commitment to causes that impact lives and communities.
According to him, ensuring a safe environment is a key area of focus in his company’s corporate social responsibility footprint and the company would continue to promote a healthy and safe environment while also creating opportunities that make a significant impact in communities.
With ‘Rite on the Beach,’ Rite Foods Limited has demonstrated its commitment to stop ocean plastic, increase literacy and empower communities through employment. Throwing its weight behind the initiative has helped in developing ecological awareness, creating jobs, supporting grassroots education and driving economic development in underprivileged communities around coastal areas in Lagos.