The 200 youths who graduated in the Dangote Petroleum Refinery skill acquisition programme has been offered immediate engagements in the Lekki-Ibeju Free Trade Zone.

The Refinery organised the programme in conjunction with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB).

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by the Managing Director of Lekki Free Trade Zone Worldwide, Dr Tunde Sodade, directed all 200 graduands to register with companies in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and get automatic employment.

“We will ensure that all of you that graduated today will be employed at the free zone because we believe that what you learnt will be useful for the development of the zone. I urge you all to be good examples to others and always demonstrate better character and integrity in what you do,” Sanwo-Olu said.

In his speech, Dangote Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Mr Devakumar Edwin said the initiative was a demonstration of Dangote Refinery’s commitment toward capacity-building and youth empowerment especially in the Ibeju-Lekki host community. He said, the programme was also aimed at making youth from its host communities employable.

He implored the skill acquisition graduates to be focused and diligent in work life. “With the tools given to you today, you can be good ambassadors of this great community. So many graduates outside are still searching for jobs, but yours is different because you have been trained.

“We are going to give you our maximum support to ensure you are employed in our operations, as our host communities remains our priority. These skills given to you today, can take you to various places and attract better opportunity if managed effectively,” the executive director said

According to him, even as the petroleum refining & fertilizer complex comes on stream, it is expected that the Lekki-Ibeju host communities will experience a turnaround in their fortunes very soon, with so much available expertise and manpower reservoir just for the asking.

The skills acquisition programme cuts across a wide range of vocational skills such as plumbing, welding, iron bending, auto mechanics and electrical works, marked the successful completion of the first batch trainees.

Chibisi Ohakah

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