As part of efforts to deepen harmonious industrial relations in Nigeria and to encourage more investors into driving Africa industrialization agenda, stakeholders of IndustriAll Global Union, Nigeria Council on Monday November 30, 2020 paid a courtesy visit to Dangote refinery and petrolchemical limited in Lekki, Lagos.
The high powered delegation to the downstream facility was led by Comrade Issa Aremu [MNI] Vice President, IndustriALL Global Union (Africa) and the Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and President of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade (Prince) Williams Akporeha.
Other representatives of the Nigerian affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union present on Monday were Comrade Babatunde Goke Olatunji who doubles as Chairperson IndustriALL Nigeria Council and President of National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather And Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Comrade, Comrade (Engineer) Martin I. Uzoegwu President of National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Secretary of NUCFLAMMPE, Comrade J.O Dada.
Also among the delegation were President of Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) Comrade Adesanya Emmanuel Abiodun, PENGASSAN Deputy General Secretary (Industrial Relations) Comrade Ngozi Okagbue, Comrade Mbang Ntukubes, Nigeria Council Secretary, IndustriAll Global Union/Field Secretary, NUEE and Comrade Emmanuel Ajibulu, NUPENG Senior Organizing Secretary, (Media/Publicity).
They were warmly received by the company’s Group General Manager, Corporate & Govt. Affairs, Mr Yinka Akande and Mr. S. N Eachampati, Head of Construction. After some constructive engagement with the visitors the duo later assigned some site expatriates with the delegation to take them on a facility tour of the refinery which took them almost two hours.
According to the company’s officials the Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project which is near completion in the Lekki Free Zone and is expected to be the Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility, upon completion in 2021.
They added that the company which is eight times the size of the entire Victoria Island, (Lagos) is developing the project with an estimated investment of $12bn and the refinery will process a variety of light and medium grades of crude to produce Euro-V quality clean fuels including gasoline and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. The integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs.
They further informed the delegation that the refinery has reached over 80 per cent completion, adding that engineering and construction were 100 per cent over while procurement was 98 per cent ready.
They noted also that all the assembling would be completed by the middle of next year. Then the commissioning process may take three to four months with start of products coming into the market afterwards.
Comrade Isa Aremu, whilst introducing the members of the delegation to the company representatives, Yinka Akande and S.N Eachampati, said Industrial global Union primary goal is to build trade union power and to defend workers’ rights through organizing, bargaining and campaigning with the commitment to working together to secure decent and sustainable employment for the workers
The labour chieftain also said November 20th is the day set aside by UNIDO to raise awareness about industrialization in Africa and in 2020 Industriall made it a week event and also used the unique opportunity to engage Dangote Group who is believed to be the pride of Africa who also symbolizes investment patriotism.
He urged the company to see Labour as partners in progress while also encouraging them to engender freedom of association and that the Labour will do everything possible to support the progress and success of the project.
Comrade Aremu also stressed that it is really great to see the project going on at a time when Nigeria signed the Africa Continental Trade Agreement which is going to serve as a catalyst to drive industrialization and export within and beyond the African space.
President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha whose Union is seen as a critical stakeholder in the downstream sector of the Petroleum industry on his part extolled the virtues of the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and used the occasion to say he is a prouder Nigerian having seen the massive projects being embarked upon by the company aimed at boosting employment and also with the strength to revitalize the oil and gas sector in terms of capacity building and output maximization.
He added that the company should have it behind their back that they have a Labour movement that is ready to collaborate with them to achieve greater and fruitful results in the industry. He also used the opportunity to pray for Dangote Group for success in the larger interest of Nigeria and Africa by extension.