Despite the harsh operating environment in the domestic economy occasioned by dearth of adequate infrastructure, the Dangote Refinery has restated its commitment to research and technology to boost job creation and poverty alleviation in the country.
The Dangote Group said it would continue to partner research institutions for advancement of indigenous technology and national development.
Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, made the pledge yesterday during a study tour of the Research and Development Steering Committee of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertiliser projects in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. The delegation of top academics and researchers was led on tour by the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro.
Ahmed said collaboration between the government, academia and industry was needed to set Nigeria on the path of industrial development and employment generation.
He said: “The Dangote Group believes that there need to be a synergy between the researchers in the universities and the industries like what is found in advanced economies.
“The industry and the academia need to work together to identify issues and problems that are looking for solutions and the researchers will now come back with their findings and proposed solutions.
“If the solution meets the expectations of the industry you will get the two working together to find home grown solutions to our problems.
“I think the idea initiated now by TETFUND is a welcome development and we should make sure that whatever research that is going on in our universities is research that is useful and can be practicalised in our industries.
“This will expand the scope of indigenous technology.”
Ahmed emphasised that the Dangote Refinery project would generate over 250, 000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians when completed.
According to him, part of the collaboration is to ensure that Nigerian graduates are equipped with the set skills to immediately fit into the industry upon employment instead of wasting more years in training them.
Earlier, Bogoro said the visit was aimed at bridging the gap between the industry and the academia, adding that the committee was made up of over 100 eminent scholars and researchers.