Nigeria’s profile in the global oil industry will be boosted today as President Muhammadu Buhari leads five other African Presidents to inaugurate Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals.
The Presidents are Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Nana Akufo-Addo(Ghana); Macky Sall (Senegal), Mohamed Bazoum (Niger Republic) and Mahamat Déby(Chad). Also expected is President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame will send a goodwill message virtually.
Prominent Nigerian economic and political players are also expected to attend the historic event.
After the event, Buhari will head to Ogun State for the inauguration of another landmark project, the Kajola Rail Wagon Assembly Plant.
The Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity facility that is sitting on 2,635 hectares in the Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State. It is the world’s largest single-train refinery expected to provide direct and indirect employment to more than 100,000 persons.
The refinery is expected to become the flagship of the Dangote Group, a conglomerate of Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Experts and stakeholders are unanimous that the coming onstream of the project would have a transformative impact on the global profile of Nigeria and the national economy.
Nigeria is expected to exit the league of oil-rich nations that are heavy importers of petroleum products. Experts agree this alone would have positive multiplier effects on the country’s foreign exchange (forex) and currency stability.
The refinery is expected to meet the needs of Nigerian consumers and those in neighbouring countries while allowing for exports beyond the African continent. It is also believed that the refinery will drive the promotion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as over 50 countries in the trade bloc depend on imported refined petroleum products.
According to fact sheet, the refinery can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement for all refined products-Gasoline, 53 million litres per day; Diesel, 34 million litres per day; Kerosene, 10 million litres per day, and Aviation Jet, 2 million litres per day.
All major Nigerian stakeholders have hailed the inauguration as a new dawn for the Nigerian economy. In separate statements, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) said the refinery marks a major breakthrough for the Nigerian economy.
MOMAN said it would reset the Nigerian oil and gas industry and enable Nigeria to optimise the benefits of its natural resources.
To MAN, stated the refinery will end long queues at petrol filling stations and the disruption of social and economic activities that come with it.
NECA stated that the inauguration would be a succour to a nation in dire need of an industrial renaissance as the country would make huge savings and stave off frequent disruptions.
LCCI said the refinery’s impact on the economy would be significant as it would save and generate foreign exchange, create jobs and positively affect the value of the Naira.
* $2.4m Kajola rail wagon plant for inauguration too.
The $2.4 million Kajola rail wagon plant which Buhari will also inaugurate today is one of the two projects donated to Nigeria by the Chinese Government.
It was donated through the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to help grow the railway industry not only in Nigeria but in other African countries.
The second is the University of Transportation in President Buhari’s country home, Daura, Katsina State.
Buhari signed the legal instrument establishing the specialist university in February 2023. (Nation)