With a plan to create 750,000 jobs in the next five years and thereafter raise it to one million, Dangote Group will overtake the federal government as the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria.
The conglomerate owned by Alhaji Aliko Dangote has a current workforce of 26,000 spread across its subsidiaries in cement, salt and sugar manufacturing and packaging plants.
The federal government, on the other hand, has roughly 90,000 civil servants that are directly employed by the Civil Service Commission but the figure comes up to at least 600,000 when added to those in the military and paramilitary organisations.
At the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHSF), LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the Nigerian civil service has a workforce of 90,000. But the head, press and public relations unit of the OHSF, Tope Ajakaiye, said knowing the entire workforce of the federal government is a herculean task. “There is constant flow of members of staff in and out of the service. As I am talking to you now, people are retiring from the service and some are being employed into the service. Some are employed in the states and other agencies of government and it’s when they are documented in Abuja before we can actually know how many we are in the service,” he said. “Conservatively, the federal civil servants with files in the OHSF which include ministries and departments is 90,000.”
He revealed that it is only the various parastatals of the federal government that can tell the number of public servants on their payroll and not the OHSF.
LEADERSHIP Weekend investigations revealed that the various projects of Dangote Group that are in the pipeline would create at least 150,000 jobs directly and indirectly, within the next one year; it is expected to hit one million in five years.
An official of the conglomerate told LEADERSHIP Weekend that the organisation at present employs 26,000 direct employees in the cement, salt and sugar industries, noting that the direct workers include drivers of its articulated trucks. He added that the indirect workers, who are outside the 26,000-workforce, include “motor boys”. Every truck in the group, he said, has two “motor boys”, who assist the drivers during their trips.
The official disclosed that with the company’s entry into the agricultural sector, especially the rice sub-sector, the target is to raise the workforce to 750,000 and ultimately one million employees in the long term.
The group founded by Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has in its pipeline, a 300,000-hectare sugar plantation in Kebbi State, rice plantation in Kwara State, and a fertiliser plant and a refinery in the OKNLG Free Trade Zone in Ogun and Ondo states.
This is aside the planned expansion of its three cement plants in Obajana in Kogi State, Ibese in Ogun State and Gboko in Benue State, and the planned Independent Power Plant (IPP).
The petrochemical and petroleum refining plants situated at OKNLG Free Trade Zone in Ondo State and the fertiliser plant which has been moved from Agenebode in Edo State to the OKNLG Free Trade Zone are expected to create 95,000 skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs directly and indirectly.
This figure is inclusive of 8,000 engineers working on the plants which are expected to replicate the feat achieved by the group in the cement industry, transforming the nation from being fuel and fertiliser import-dependent to a producing and exporting economy.
Also about 75,000 jobs are expected to be created at the take- off of the sugar and rice plantations sited in Kebbi and Kwara states, which are scheduled for the end of the year.
The factories which cost an estimated $700 million will also produce animal feeds from sugar and rice residues will have 55,000 jobs created in the sugar factory and 20,000 jobs in the rice plantation.
During a recent visit to the Kwara State governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Dangote said his company would replicate what it did in the cement industry by targeting about 65 million tonnes of sugar which would create about one million jobs in the next five years.
The conglomerate’s sugar refinery at Apapa Port, Lagos, is the largest in Africa and the third in the world with an annual capacity of 700,000 tonnes of refined sugar. It also has another 100,000-tonne capacity sugar mill at Hadeja in Jigawa State.
In the last few years, Dangote Sugar Refinery has made progress in strengthening its brand, re-focusing the business, managing its operational effectiveness and returning it to the path of profitability.
The group had also acquired Savannah Sugar Company located on a 32,000-hectare in Numan, Adamawa State, with plans to develop other sugar fields across the country put at over 300,000 hectares.
There is also an 80,000-hectare plantation in four local government areas in Kebbi, and a 50-hectare sugar plantation and rice mill in Patigi, Edu local government area of Kwara State.
The group recently signed a jumbo $3.30 billion (N528 billion) long-term loan with both local and international consortium of banks to finance the construction of petrochemical and petroleum refining plants situated at OKNLG Free Trade Zone in Ondo State.
According to the president of the group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the refining and petrochemical plants will be the largest in Africa and have been designed to produce Euro 5 quality standard as compared to the Euro 3 currently supplied in the Nigerian market. Dangote noted that, on completion, the refined products output would be gasoline (PMS) of 7.684 million mtpa; diesel – 5.30 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa); jet fuel/kerosene – 3.740 million mtpa; LPG – 0.213million mtpa; and slurry/fuel oil – 0.625million mtpa.
The fertiliser plant is designed with a capacity to produce 2.75 million mtpa of ammonia and urea; the refining plant with overall capacity of 400,000 bpd and the petrochemical plant are to produce poly propylene to the tune of 600,000mtpa.
This means that besides the elimination of fuel scarcity, kerosene shortage and other problems associated with availability and affordability of petroleum products in the country, there would be increased job opportunities as direct and multiplier effect of jobs to be created would engage over 8,000 engineers, according to LEADERSHIP Weekend findings.