The Federal Government has described the 650,000 barrels-per-day Dangote Petroleum Refinery and petrochemical plant as a game-changer that is capable of driving refining revolution in Africa when it is fully operational.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this during a media tour of the $19 billion Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals Plant at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
The Minister, who also went on tour of the $2.5 billion Dangote Fertiliser Plant, listed the benefits of the Refinery to include huge value addition that will contribute to increase in Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); conservation of foreign exchange as importation of petroleum products would be eradicated; generation of forex through export of finished product; availability of petroleum products thus ending petrol queues, and attraction of foreign capital investment.
He stated, “After visiting the facilities, one can conveniently say that Dangote is leading Nigeria’s industrial revolution. The coming into being of such huge industrial complex as the Dangote Fertiliser Company and the Refinery were made possible by the enabling environment provided by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Today, businesses are springing up in all sectors, thanks to a conducive business environment. Under this Administration, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has implemented over 150 reforms, moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016. Mr. President also signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020) – Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades.
“The result of this favourable business environment is the birth of new businesses such as the $2.5 billion Dangote Fertiliser Plant that will produce 3 million metric tonnes of Urea every year; the 650,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery due to open later this year; Lekki Deep Sea Port, one of the most modern sea ports in West Africa; the 5,000 barrels-per-day Modular Refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, and three more modular refineries to be commissioned before May 2023 in Edo and Bayelsa states just to mention a few.”
Speaking on the benefits of Dangote Fertiliser to the economy, Lai Mohammed said prior to the inauguration of the present administration, Nigeria had a fertiliser shortfall of about 3.5 million tonnes per annum.
According to him, with the coming on stream of the Dangote Fertiliser Plant, Nigeria is now self-sufficient in the production of urea. “In fact, Nigeria is now the leading producer of Urea in Africa. The Dangote Fertiliser plant is already exporting to the US, India, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. We were fortunate to witness a ship being loaded with urea for export to Argentina,” he added.
Mohammed said the conducive business environment created by the government and its support had enabled the coming on stream of the $2.5 billion Dangote Fertiliser Plant which was inaugurated recently by the president. He said the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery was due for opening later this year, adding that both projects would guarantee food and energy security for Nigerians.
On his part, Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Ltd., Mr. Devakumar Edwin, thanked the government for the support towards the completion of the projects.
Edwin said the refinery was the world’s largest single train petroleum refinery and was designed to maximise production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with a capacity of about 53 per cent compared to 20 per cent by other refineries. He said: The petroleum refinery can meet 100 per cent of the requirements of Nigeria, of all the liquid products – Gasoline (PMS), Diesel (AGO), Kerosene (DPK) and Aviation Jet Fuel (Jet A-1).
“While 60 per cent of the production of this petroleum refinery can meet the entire requirement of Nigeria, the rest 40 per cent will go for export, generating huge amount of foreign exchange”, he added.
Justifying the government’s decision to acquire a 20 per cent stake in the refinery, Edwin noted that the project was of strategic national importance and a win-win for the nation and the Dangote Group.