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The Success Story: How Edwin Devakumar Is Positioning Dangote Refinery, Africa’s Pride For Excellence 

The Success Story: How Edwin Devakumar Is Positioning Dangote Refinery, Africa's Pride For Excellence 

Posted: May 15, 2024 at 5:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

After starting his career in India in 1978 and growing up to the level of Managing Director in 1989, Edwin Devakumar is now in love with Nigeria.

His significant entry into the Nigerian business and corporate environment space in the 1990s endeared him to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and cemented what would be a mutually benefitting relationship to control major sectors in Nigeria and by extension, Africa.

Edwin joined the Dangote Group in 1992 as a General Manager and he was promoted to Group General Manager in 1994 and Executive Director (Projects) in 1998.

He was the brain behind the execution of almost all the projects of the Group including the spinning mills and the textile processing factory, the packaging materials plant, the flour mills, the pasta plant, the cement terminals, the cement plants, the noodles plants, etc.

In 2000, he became the Executive Director (Industries and Projects) and he was vested with the responsibility of supervising all the plants in the Group including the sugar refinery, cement terminal, salt plant, flour mills, pasta plant, packaging materials plant and textile mills.

In 2002, he was moved to the position of Group Executive Director (Business Development) to handle all the new projects. He was the pioneer Managing Director/CEO of Obajana Cement Plc from 2004 to 2006.
Having joined the Dangote Group when it was in the threshold of entering into manufacturing activities, Edwin deployed his wealth of experience to the Group in its growth.

He was formerly the Group Managing Director/CEO of Dangote Cement Plc, before his current position.
From his humble beginning in India, his areas of focus where he had made landmark strides were; industrial engineering, cost reduction, human capital management, general management, and project management.

He had also executed industrial projects funded by the World Bank.
Dangote’s refinery project was first mooted in 2013 and to be completed by 2016 but construction did not start till 2017, due to lack of an effective support mechanism to take high impact project plans from the drawing board to completion.

Of the refinery’s total capacity of 650,000 barrels of crude oil a day, 450,000 barrels will be dedicated to meeting domestic requirement.

Nigeria through the NNPC limited hold a 20% equity in the refinery and the refinery would therefore initially receive 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the NNPC.

Speaking on what Nigerians are to expect, Edwin confirmed the shipping of diesel and jet fuel by the refinery into the local market.

“We have substantial quantities. Products are being evacuated both by sea and road. Ships are lining up one after another to load diesel and aviation jet fuel,” Edwin said in an exclusive interview with Reuters.

“Ships load a minimum of 26 million litres, though we try to push for 37 million litres vessels, for ease of operations.”

Edwin is a man whose achievements do not unnoticed in the country. Recently, the members of the Democratic Youth Assembly of Nigeria (DYAN) honoured him with “Icon of Delight Service”.

Dangote Group, which disclosed this development in a statement issued Monday, May 13, 2024, said the youth group gave Devakumar the award in his office at the Corporate Headquarters of DIL, a Pan-African conglomerate in Lagos.

The DIL Vice-President’s “Icon of Delight Service” is in recognition of what DYAN described as his “contributions towards societal development, human uplift and selfless service to humanity.” 

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