The United States Trade and Development Agency, Thursday, announced a N251.3 billion training grant to Dangote Oil Refining Company to develop the critical human resources needed to run a refinery.
The fund was announced at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the USTDA and Dangote Group in Lagos.
”USTDA is pleased to support the Dangote Oil Refining Company’s efforts to increase Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity.” said Enoh Ebong, USTDA Deputy Director.
“This programme builds upon USTDA’s long history of support for vital infrastructure development in Nigeria.
“Since 1981, the USTDA has been operating in Nigeria with primary concerns in the area of oil and energy, and we are glad to continue in that line with what we are doing today.”
Greenfield Petroleum Refinery, owned by the Dangote Group, is located in Lekki, Lagos. The USTDA grant will fund a multi-year programme to train over 100 Dangote company staff on refinery fundamentals.
Ms. Ebong signed the grant agreement along with Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group.
Mr. Dangote said that his company is looking forward to the commissioning of the refinery in 2018, noting that the training grant is consistent with the U.S. Government’s support for Nigeria’s infrastructural development.
“For such a high-tech project, investment in getting the right quality of human capital to run the plant is considered to be possibly the most critical success factor for the multi-billion dollar project,” said Mr. Dangote.
“We are therefore most grateful for the generous grant from the USTDA towards the training of some of the operators needed to successfully operate and maintain our Greenfield 650,000 bpd capacity refinery at Lekki,” Dangote said.
In her remarks, Dehab Ghebreab, Acting United States Consul General, said that the USTDA’s support for the project is an example of the strength and depth of the U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship, adding that it will go a long way in laying a ground work for monumental growth in the country.
“I believe that when government and private sector get together, great things can happen,” she said.
“The U.S. government’s goal is to facilitate transactions that are beneficial to both countries and there is no better example than this project. I am pleased that USTDA could assist here.”