Following his fresh investments in automobile and agriculture, the organized labour in the country has commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President and the Chief Executive of Dangote Group for promoting investments and creating thousands of direct and indirect youth employments across the country and in Africa.
The labour said Dangote’s patriotism remains unparalleled when it comes to investment and that his investments in many sectors have been a key factor behind Nigeria’s improving economy.
Vice-President of the Geneva based global union, the Industrial and the Secretary General of the National Textile Garment Workers Union, Comrade Issa Aremu who was speaking on the sideline of the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Abuja, where he represented former Edo governor Adams Oshiomhole as the guest speaker, lamented that others who should have invested in the country are stashing their money abroad and thus denying the nation the much needed investment.
He maintained that Nigeria would have been an industrial giant in Africa if the nation could boast of more Dangotes whose preoccupation would be to invest and create jobs for the teeming populace.
Aremu, a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also commended other compatriots who he said joined Dangote “in obedience to the clarion call of the opening stanza of the national anthem “Arise oh Compatriots” by rising in defence of national unity in the wake of discordant and divisive voices by some misguided youths”.
Referring to the on-going construction of the world class Refinery and petrochemicals in Lagos by Dangote, the labour leader said Nigeria is blessed to have an astute business man like Dangote who would venture into business terrain where even the professionals would dare not dabble into.
“Little wonder other African leaders are courting his friendship so that he could extend his investments into their countries. I don’t think there is any other Nigerian with much investment in and outside the country like Dangote.
“I understand he has his companies in 15 African countries. We in the labour are proud of him”, Aremu stated.
Speaking earlier on the theme of the Conference “Emerging Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry and its Impacts on Labour Movement in Nigeria, Comrade Aremu pointed out that following the crash in the global oil prices, diversification was more than urgent adding that this was what Dangote group with investment in scores of sectors in Africa had been doing “even at a time it was not fashionable and even risky to do so.”
According to him, diversification was not the same as replacing extractive crude oil with another extractive solid mineral but “in beneficiation, industrialization and value addition along the whole value chains”, which he insisted “must start with the oil and gas industry with the revival of the refineries”.
“In spite of the challenges taking place in this sector, the oil and gas industry matters more than ever before and there is no way you can talk of diversification without the oil and gas sector.
“As a matter of fact, no diversification can take place in agriculture, in solid minerals without the necessary available resources that are still accruable from the oil and gas sector.
“It is obvious, 40 per cent of the national employment comes from the sector not only that, 95 per cent of the foreign exchange earning of Nigeria comes from oil and gas,
“16 per cent of our GDP also comes from this sector, with 37 billion reserved crude oil as well as 183 trillion cubic feet of gas”, he said.
Aremu added that the country’s gas reserve was three per cent of the entire world gas reserve.
“It is clear that Nigeria is not just an oil producing country but increasingly we are a gas producing country also”, he said.
The labour leader admonished the youths in the country to join the task of nation building “through decent work and not destructive enterprise of national run down”.
Youths, he said must “organize” to build not “agonize” to destroy. “Let us quit our problems which include poverty, unemployment, import dependency and stop serving unhelpful illegal and criminal quit notices on each other”.
The unity of the country, he said, should be protected by all right thinking Nigerians including the youths who stand to benefit more from the investments and infrastructure developments in the country.
Referring to some projects executed by the Dangote Group and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, as contained in the group profile held by him, Aremu described Dangote as a detribalized Nigerian who should be encouraged to invest more in the country.
Said he: “see, the man has touched people’s life in all part of the country, if he is not donating relief materials to flood victims in the East, he would be donating materials to the victims of insurgency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“Ït is on record that he is single handedly responsible for the on-going construction of N7 billion hospital at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital in Kano, N600 million Business School in Bayero University Kano, provision of boreholes for many communities in the North.
“He is into rice farming in five states in the North through which thousands of people will be gainfully employed.
“Yet works are going on in his 650 barrels per day refinery and petrochemical project in Lagos. The man deserved to be hailed rather being vilified”, the labour leader concluded.