Organized Private Sector under the auspices of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), on Wednesday, lauded the contributions of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) to poverty reduction efforts of the Federal government, especially the massive employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.
Alluding to the thousands of jobs the Dangote Refinery will generate when fully operational, Dr Micheal Olawale-Cole, President of the Chamber said Dangote Group has created jobs more than any known private sector operators in the Country. It would be recalled, that Dangote is the highest employer of labour in Nigeria, outside the Federal Government.
Dr Olawale-Cole, who made this disclosure at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair during the “Dangote Day” on Wednesday, said the foremost indigenous conglomerate has contributed significantly to providing solutions to the problems of unemployment and by extension, to reducing the poverty levels among Nigerians.
He said the decision of the company to venture into oil and gas would permanently put an end to the issue of petroleum scarcity in Nigeria and contribute substantially to the GDP and the overall economic growth and development of Nigeria.
According to him, Dangote Group has been at the forefront of job creation even as its products and services have touched the lives of millions of people across the African continent and beyond. He then enjoined other corporate bodies to toe the line of Dangote in assisting the Government, through the provision of infrastructure, even if it must be through a tax credit scheme, introduced by the Federal Government.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who was represented by the Group’s Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Hajia Fatima Aliko-Dangote, in a keynote address said the Group is passionate about deepening the Nigerian economy through industrialisation, job creation, provision and rehabilitation of essential infrastructure, and the welfare of the citizens. According to him, “It is the desire to promote industrialisation that informs our decision to become strategic partners with all the major Chambers of Commerce across the nation.”
Describing this year’s theme for the Trade Fair “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value” as being apt, Dangote said, value creation should be the goal of any business.
“Our investment decisions at Dangote Group, are focused on creating values for all stakeholders. We have invested in several projects which are meant to create jobs and enhance the rapid industrialisation of the Nigerian economy. Dangote Cement Plc remains the continent’s foremost cement producer, with operations in 10 African countries.
“The activities of the cement company through its multiplier effect, provide direct and indirect employment to millions of people across Africa. Through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) interventions, Dangote Cement has touched the lives of thousands of people in host communities across Africa. The company has built schools, hospitals & clinics, roads, markets, and vocational training centres in host communities.”, he stated.
Noting that the company’s Food subsidiaries are providing jobs through various schemes, he said while Dangote Sugar Refinery, through its out-grower scheme has provided jobs to thousands of farmers in the host communities, Dangote Fertiliser has helped to change the face of agriculture in Nigeria while the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, will drive the development of ancillary industries which will utilize the byproducts as raw materials.
In the quest to equip Nigerians with the necessary industrial and technological skills, he said there is a collaboration between the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the VDMA (the German Association for Mechanical and Plant Engineering) and its Foundation for Young Talent in Mechanical Engineering (Nachwuchsstiftung Maschinenbau gGmbH – NWS).
Said he: “In this innovative programme, we recruited young Nigerians to be trained in various engineering areas to equip them with necessary skills to work in the manufacturing sector…Towards filling the gap in some of our plants, we recruited graduates of engineering and other technology-based courses and trained them on many aspects of industrial operations.
“These technicians were later deployed to our plants in Obajana, Ibese, and Gboko as well as our sugar refinery in Apapa and salt refinery in Apapa and Ikeja. They have proved that young Nigerians, given the right training and orientation, excel in every assignment they are given.”
It was a beehive of trading activities at the Dangote stand and visitors thronged the pavilion to buy various Dangote products which were on offer at pocket-friendly prices.