Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Dangote Oil Refinery has reiterated its commitment to working closely with its host community, especially in the area of training and provision of job opportunities for youths in the areas of operations.
Speaking during the commencement of a skills acquisition programme for another batch of youths in Ibeju-Lekki community in Lagos State, the company’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, said that the programme was aimed at curbing unemployment among the youths.
On the rationale behind the training, Edwin noted that apart from fostering better relations with the host community, the move was also meant to take the young people from the area away from the labour market.
According to him, 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 National Directorate of Employment (NDE) seriously.
“We will train you; we will equip you, and also ensure that you will be employable or become entrepreneurs,” he told the beneficiaries.
Many indigent youths in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State who benefited from the first batch of the vocational training programme organised by Dangote Oil Refinery, also lauded the organisation.
Some of the youths who took part in the first batch of the programme which started in 2019, said they had secured jobs with the company, while the others said they were doing well in their various trades.
Speaking about the impact of the training on him and family members, Mr Balogun Owolabi, Epe local government, one of the beneficiaries, noted that he can now feed and pick his bills.
He stressed that the training he acquired in refrigerator and air conditioner repair from the Dangote Refinery vocational training programme had transformed his life and that of his family members.
According to him, the company offered him employment few months after graduating from the vocational training.
“A few months after graduating from the training programme, I was called upon by the company to take up an employment at the project site” he said.
Owolabi described being offered an employment as the best thing that had ever happened to him.
He encouraged other youths in the community who are feeling reluctant to participate in the training programme to make themselves available as they stand to benefit much from the programme.