By SINA FADARE
Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals Company has empowered youths in its host communities in Ibeju/Lekki, Lagos with vocational training. Dangote Group Executive Director, Capital Projects, Mr Devakumar Edwin, said the initiative was a demonstration of the refinery’s commitment to capacity building and youth empowerment.
The skills’ acquisition training, which was launched in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), covers plumbing, masonry, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works.
According to him, the aim of training these 200 youths was in line with the Chinese proverb that “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. He added that the skills would provide them with a means of livelihood for their families.
Edwin stated that the scheme was geared towards instant value addition to the lives of the youths and their communities.
At a colourful ceremony, which was attended by top Obas and community leaders, including the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and all the Baales in the host communities, the Dangote Group boss said the company would continue to invest in projects that would add value to the lives of the people in the communities hosting its facilities across the country.
He said: “At Dangote Industries Limited, our Corporate Social Responsibility projects are centred around the development and wellbeing of the people, especially our host communities. In Ibeju Lekki, we have executed several projects that are enhancing the lives of the people. We have provided boreholes for all the communities, classrooms for the local school, and we just awarded scholarships to 51 secondary school students.
“This programme is another level of our intervention as it is targeted at providing vocational skills to the teeming youth population in our host communities. The 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.”
The Manager, Projects Certification and Authorisation Division (PCAD), NCDMB, Frank Ibi, who represented the Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, commended Dangote Refinery on its achievements.
He said the board’s mandate was to ensure that training resources and efforts were devoted to providing young Nigerians with specialised skills and certifications needed to get employment.
Ibi commended Dangote’s commitment to NDCMB human capacity development initiatives, which, he believed, would provide a platform for the youths to contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.
Oba Akiolu said the programme was unprecedented because the company was yet to start operation but decided to empower the youths from the area.
The traditional ruler encouraged the youths to utilise the skills which they will acquire through the training programme for their maximum benefits. He commended Dangote Refinery for its unwavering support to community development initiatives in Lagos State, enjoining the youths to work hard and make the best of the opportunity given them on a platter of gold.
The Oloja of Epe Land, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun, commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for bringing development to the communities through his investment and urged other Nigerians of means to invest locally and lift the economy of the people at the grassroots.
The Chairman, Lekki Local Council Development Area, Olaitan Ogidan, who was the chief host, said the inauguration of the skills acquisition programme was a fulfilment of Dangote’s promise to the host communities and a step in the right direction.
According to him, the company equally promised the award of scholarship to students in the host communities, adding that this was fulfilled through the award of scholarship to secondary school students. He called on the company to assist the communities with science and technology specialised schools.
The Lagos State Coordinator of the NDE, Adebowale Ologbenla, said the Dangote Group decided to key into the vision of the ministry in the area of skills acquisition.
Ologbenla noted that the training would focus on different vocational skills, such as auto-mechanics, electrical installation, plumbing, weathering, AC Technicians and Iron bending, adding that this would give a source of livelihood to all the beneficiaries at the end of the programme.
“We are going to attach them to our master trainers for six months. During the duration, Dangote will pay the trainees and the trainers and at the end of the vocation, they will be supplied with necessary tools that will assist them to have marketable skills and be able to make a living for themselves.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alaba Kayode expressed happiness, saying the programme would go a long way in equipping them with the necessary skills required for latest vocational job techniques.
Kayode said they were all ready to make the best of the opportunity.
Source The Nation Nigeria