The management of Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals has disclosed that the 650,000 barrels per day project will create jobs for not less than 250,000 Nigerians when completed next year. Group Executive Director, Strategy and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, told reporters at the site that the refinery had potential to turn around Nigeria’s economy with the employment of thousands of Nigerians for direct and indirect jobs.
He said the huge unemployment rate of Nigerian youths, the need to make the country self-reliant in fuel consumption and attract the much needed foreign exchange through export of the products were reasons that motivated the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, to venture into manufacturing.
The Dangote Group boss said he was very optimistic that the refinery would be a game changer for Nigeria and the rest of Africa. According to him, Dangote Industries Limited has succeeded in substantially reducing the high rate of unemployment in the country, with the conglomerate already recruiting youths in its various agricultural schemes and other subsidiaries. Dangote Industries Limited is the highest employer of labour in Nigeria outside the Federal Government. Also, Edwin assured that all things being equal, Dangote Fertiliser plant’s products would hit the market this month. He said that Dangote Fertiliser Limited had a well-equipped fertiliser soil testing laboratory to ensure efficiency of the product for farmers.
He explained: “The laboratory will enable us analyse and identify a particular soil deficiency. Applying the right fertiliser to soil will enable it yield maximum result. The goal of our soil testing is to provide an accurate assessment of the soil’s fertility to make fertiliser recommendations. “A proper soil test will help ensure the application of enough fertiliser to meet the requirements of the crop while taking advantage of the nutrients already present in the soil.” Edwin maintained that Dangote Fertiliser would make Nigeria become selfsufficient in fertiliser production and have the capacity to export the products to other African countries.
“Right now, farmers are forced to utilise whatever fertiliser that is available as they have no choice, but we need to know that the fertiliser that will work in one state may not be suitable in another state, as they may not have the same soil type and composition.
The same fertilizer you use for sorghum may not be the fertiliser you will use for sugar cane,” he added. Speaking on Dangote Refinery’s employment generation capacity, Director- General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Olawale Timothy, lauded the promotion of the refinery, saying the potential to create 250,000 direct and indirect jobs on completion would greatly reduce crime and poverty in Nigeria. Olawale stated that the kind gesture by Dangote Refinery would greatly reduce the menace of insecurity, which, he noted, had become a major issue in the country.
“We have always said that gainful employment is a veritable way of reducing crime. When you engage the youthful population in a meaningful way, they will not take to crime. “It is worthy to note that the generation of 250,000 jobs by the refinery at completion will reduce youth unemployment. We also have the advantage of reducing poverty level in the country. This is because gainful employment will increase the purchasing power of the people. It will improve their style of living,” he added.