The richest man in Africa and foremost Nigerian industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is beleived to be planning to turn his Academy in Obajana, Kogi state into a full fledge University with bias for industrial production.
Experts who have already seen the proposed Dangote University as ‘Nigerian Havar’ have expressed confidence that when formerly established, it will create the spark for the Nigeria’s industrial take off.
The Dangote University is being mooted against the background of the Nigeria industrial revolution plan (NIRP)which President Goodluck Jonathan launched in February and the National Enterprise Development Plan(NEDP).
The NIRP is tergetted at increasing the contribution of the manufacturing sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the present 4% to more than 10% over the next five years.
The proposed Dangote University, according to inside sources, will help the Federal Government in achieving its dreams with a mind set on the principle that no nation can develop educationally without the required educational system in place.
Speaking on the philosophy behind the establishment of the Dangote Academy, a fore-runner to the proposed University, the Director, Mr. Paramjit Pabby said: “The philosophy behind the establishment of the Academy is to help get the required skills for our companies which are in short supply in Nigeria.”
The Dangote Academy currently runs Graduate Engineer Trainees Scheme(GET), Junior Technicians Scheme (JTS), Management Skills and Leadership training scheme, among others.
Also, Head of Management Development of the Academy, Mr. Hassan Salisu, said that the Academy is aimed at supporting the Nigeria’s educational system by emphasizing practical application of knowledge and skills.
He said that the absorbed graduates have started adding value to the company and that Dangote Group may not need to shop for engineers outside the shores of Nigeria in the nearest future.
According to him, the Academy, which one of its kind in the country, has gulped huge amount of money.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the Assistant General Manager(AGM) Training of the Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Haruna Adinoyi said the phase I and II of the Dangote Academy campus is expected to accommodate about 550 trainees at a go.
He said that so far, about 450 Graduate Trainees and Junior Technicians have been trained and absorbed; about 150 are currently undergoing training at different levels; while 300 trainees are expected to join later in the year.