Dangote Oil Refining Company has been tipped to be the highest employer of chemical engineers in the country.
The President, Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers (NSCh), Engr. Saidu A. Muhammed, stated this during a tour of the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical project at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, over the weekend.
Muhammed, who led members of the association on a tour of the 650,000 barrels-per-day Dangote refinery project in Lagos, to mark the end of the association’s 51st anniversary, said the industries in Nigeria have not been able to absorb the over 1,000 engineers produced annually by Nigerian Universities.
“We, the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, have keenly been watching the progress of the refinery project. When completed, the refinery will be the largest employer of chemical engineers in the country. Nigerian Universities turn out about 1,000 chemical engineers every year and the avenues for employment have been very scarce.
“The industry has not been able to fully absorb the number of chemical engineers that passed out of the universities years ago.
Some companies within the sector are not running at optimum level. Therefore, employment is really key.
“However, from the energy security point of view, chemical engineers are always concerned about what can be put in place to guarantee energy security in the country. Nigeria is blessed with abundant crude oil, but unfortunately, we are importing petroleum products simply because Nigeria’s own refineries are not utilising their installed capacity.
“Therefore, when you see a brand new refinery like the Dangote that has the capacity to meet the petroleum products needs of the country, there is need to celebrate such company,” Muhammed said.
He expressed delight over the size of the project and the level of work that has gone in the construction of the refinery.
“The Dangote Refinery project is very impressive, very big. There is no project of this magnitude right now in this part of the world. We are delighted to see that the project is nearing completion and many things have been done,” he said.
Muhammed commended the Dangote Group for its plans to ensure that Nigerian engineers are trained to handle the operation of the refinery plant, which has been acclaimed to be the largest single train refinery in the world.
“We are most impressed by the numbers of Nigerians that we see within the site working at various sections of the plant. We are glad that Dangote is building this type of project in Nigeria, which is one of the largest in the world.
“We are also happy about the refinery’s contribution to energy security in Africa. The refinery is also going to have positive impact on Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas industry,”,” the NSCh president said.
Speaking, the Technical Consultant to the President of Dangote Group, Engr. Babajide Soyode, commended the chemical engineers for coming on a tour of the refinery.
According to Soyode, Dangote’s refinery will help Nigeria meet and exceed its current demand for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and kerosene, leaving ample product for export.
“This connotes significant positive economic impact on Nigeria and the West African region, transforming Nigeria from a net importer to exporter of refined petroleum products and curtailing significant foreign exchange outflows.
“Additionally, the availability of excess fuel will also provide a catalyst for eliminating Nigeria’s expensive fuel subsidy,” he added.
Soyode said that the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would complement other major infrastructure investments that Dangote has planned at the strategically located Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, including a port, gas processing facility, power plant, and petrochemical and fertiliser complex.
“When completed, this infrastructure complex will create a significant economy of scale for one of Africa’s largest industrial conglomerates, supporting jobs in both Nigeria and other African countries,” he added.