By Udeme Akpan
Despite the harsh operating environment in the country, occasioned by the dearth of adequate infrastructure, the Dangote Refinery has pledged commitment to research and technology.
Speaking 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, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, said this would bring about job creation and poverty alleviation in the country.
The delegation, which comprised of top academicians and researchers, was led by the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro.
Ahmed, who called for increased collaboration between the government, academia, and industry 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 homegrown 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 practicalized in our industries. This will expand the scope of indigenous technology.”
Ahmed emphasized that the Dangote Refinery project would generate over 250, 000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians when completed.
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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, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, who led the team, 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.
He added: “This committee has 13 sub-committees and today four of them are here on this visit. We have the Engineering, Bio-resource and Environment, Energy as well as Petroleum, Mining and Extraction sub-committees. We couldn’t have started this tour better than visiting Dangote Group which is the most innovative indigenous company. We believe that through researches and collaboration with the industry that we will be able to apply science and technology to improve our country.”