Dangote Refinery: Building Human Capacity
In line with Dangote Group’s corporate social responsibility policy, Dangote Petroleum Refinery has continued to contribute positively to the communities in which it is operating by supporting local initiatives with a lasting and meaningful impact on the well-being of the people.
The company recently initiated a vocational skills training programme for the youths in its host communities to make them employable.
Dangote Industries Limited, Corporate Social Responsibility projects are centered on the development and well-being of the people.
Social responsibility is the responsibility of businesses to pursue goals that benefit society in which they operate. It has to do with businesses fulfilling broad social needs and expectations as well as the needs of the firm.
The company says its decision to invest in the youth is because youths are veritable assets in any society and the quality of the youths determines the outlook of tomorrow’s society. Therefore, an investment in developing vocational skills among youths will yield the desired results.
It is in this regard that Dangote Refinery in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) recently commenced a six-months’ skills acquisition programme for the second batch of 200 youths in Ibeju-Lekki community in Lagos State.
The training, which was flagged-off by Dangote Group executive director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Mr Devakumar Edwin, is aimed at curbing unemployment among the youths.
The programme cuts across a wide range of vocational skills including welding, electrical technician, plumbing, auto mechanic, radio and television repairs, refrigerator and AC repairs, building and furniture making.
Edwin said the initiative was in line with the vision of Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, to provide employment opportunities for youths, especially those found within the company’s host communities.
He said addressing Nigeria’s unemployment crisis requires providing platforms for youths to learn various vocational trades that would enable them to develop themselves and also become employers of labour.
“We know that there are a lot of graduates out there looking for jobs and that is why you should focus and take this training by the NDE seriously. We will train you; we will equip you, and also ensure that you will be employable or become entrepreneurs. My advice is that you should take advantage of this training to better your lives and contribute positively to the society,” Edwin said.
He commended NDE for making a success of the first batch training programme, which he said has totally transformed the lives of those who were trained.
The Lagos State coordinator of the NDE, Mrs Serena Edward, lauded the Dangote Group for initiating the vocational training for the youths in the community, which began in 2019.
Edward said, “We are training the youths to acquire skills in various trades through master trainers. This is the beginning of good things for the youths. Their lives are going to be totally transformed.
“The objective of the training is to give youths skills that they will be able to generate wealth and curb unemployment. The skills will make them useful to themselves and the society. They will become self-employed and also generate employment for others.”
She disclosed that some Ibeju-Lekki Youths who graduated from the 2019 pilot scheme of the programme were employed by Dangote Refinery and its contractors, while others chose to operate on their own.
Edward noted that the training would be conducted in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Chief operations officer, Dangote Oil Refining Company, Giuseppe Surace encouraged the trainees to use the opportunity provided by Dangote to acquire new skills. On his part, the Oni-Lekki of Lekki, Oba Olumuyiwa Ogunbekun, commended Dangote Refinery for initiating the training and for the support to the communities in the locality.
Ogunbekun, represented by the Awo of Lekki, Chief Adewale Salami, advised the participants to fully utilise the training to improve their lives and make positive impact in the society.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Mr Abiodun Ajayi said they were excited to be given the opportunity of acquiring vocational skills that would impact their lives positively.
Ajayi, who thanked the Dangote Refinery Group for the training, promised that the participants would be focused in order to actualise its objectives.
Recall that in 2019, Dangote Refinery flagged off vocational training scheme that will inculcate necessary skills in the young men and women from the Ibeju-Lekki area of its operation to make them marketable.
The training which will be conducted by the National Directorate of Employment, is meant to equip the youth with vocational skills that will eventually make them employable or self-employed.
The company has deliberately targeted vocational skills such as plumbing, masonry, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works because of the instant value addition to their lives and communities. It is pertinent to note that Nigeria lacks skilled artisans leading to reliance on artisans from neighbouring ECOWAS countries in the construction sector.
Dangote is committed to change the narrative and working with relevant agencies to redesign the curriculum for the training of artisans, to make it more suitable to the needs and demands of today’s Nigeria.
The first batch of 200 youth trainees graduated from various skills acquisition programme in October, 2019. Addressing the graduates, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State represented by the managing director of Lekki Free Trade Zone Worldwide, Dr Tunde Sodade, commended Dangote Group for the vocational training, noting that the skills would give the youths the much-needed platform to be productive and self-employed.
He urged the beneficiaries to put to judicious use the skills acquired, as they are now the beacon of light to other youths in the community. Also, the Lagos State coordinator, NDE, Serena Edward, commended the Dangote Group for improving the social standards of the youths.
She said the initiative is also part of the Directorate’s mission to design and implement job creation programmes that will promote attitudinal change, employment generation, reduce poverty and enhance wealth generation.
Moreover, in stemming the unemployment tide in Nigeria, operators in the private sector needs to identify the need to increase investment in various skills acquisition programmes that will aid youth empowerment and economic growth.
Dangote Industries are a diversified and fully integrated conglomerate. The Group’s interests span a range of sectors in Nigeria and across Africa. The core business focus of the Group, which started operations in 1978, is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the ‘basic needs’ of the populace.
Dangote Oil Refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (BPD) integrated refinery project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility. The Refinery will meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products and also have a surplus of each of these products for export. The Refinery will create a market for $11 billion per annum of Nigerian Crude. It is designed to process Nigerian crude with the ability to also process other crudes. (By OLUSHOLA BELLO )