Economy and Business

Dangote Refinery Dumps Nigerians, Hires 11,000 Indian Workers

The Sub-Saharan African Skills and Apprenticeship Stakeholders Network (SASANET) has explained why the Dangote refinery chose to utilise 11,000 skilled workers from India rather than hiring young people from Nigeria or other African countries.

Nigeria, where Dangote Refinery is located, had an unemployment rate of 37.7 per cent in 2022.

But SASANET noted that the reason for the neglect was that youths from Nigeria needed to gain the adequate skills required to be engaged in the assignment.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its two-day meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, the network noted that it had resolved that each African country develop a national skills qualification framework that will enable ease of labour migration across the continent.

The communiqué was signed by the secretary-general of the regional organisation, Ousman Sillah.

In the communique, SASASNET observed: “The need for SASASNET to engage in vigorous public awareness and engagement to change the public’s negative perception on the value of skills and apprenticeship.

“The Dangote Refinery in Nigeria under construction has engaged over 11,000 workforce from India, while our youths lack the required skills to be engaged.

“Africa should avoid a repeat of the same in the upcoming $25 billion Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline traversing the Gulf of Guinea to Europe; the absence of National Occupational Standards in many countries.”

The network noted that the absence of pathways to recognise skills obtained in the informal sector in most sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, has led to a lack of opportunities for skilled labour migration across African regions.

It also fingered the negative social perception of skilled workers alongside the weak interface between trade unions/associations and skills/apprenticeship development.

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