Nigeria To Generate Over $13bn In Savings/Earnings From Dangote Refinery – FG | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria To Generate Over $13bn In Savings/Earnings From Dangote Refinery – FG

Posted: Jun 26, 2016 at 8:48 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Project To Create 245,000 Jobs On Completion

Charles Okonji and Bamidele Ogunwusi

The Federal Government, at the weekend, disclosed that on completion, Dangote Refinery, which is estimated to cost $12 billion, would enable Nigeria save over $7.5 billion from foreign exchange (Forex) on import substitution of petroleum products and realise over $5.5 billion on Forex earnings from exports per annum. That is the nation would make yearly gains of over $13 billion.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, disclosed this during his tour of the Dangote Refinery located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos. He stated that by the first quarter of 2019, Dangote Refinery’s capacity would be sufficient for the domestic market and export.

The Dangote Refinery, which is earmarked with a production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (BPD), was described as a glimmer of hope for Nigeria to diversify its economic base from total dependence on oil to other areas like agriculture and solid minerals. The country imports over 96 percent of refined petroleum products as the nation’s four refineries could only produce less than five per cent of their installed capacity.

The Vice President who was accompanied on the inspection by the Ministers for Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said the Gas Project upon completion has the capacity to produce about three billion cubic feet of gas daily, which would permanently address the two billion cubic feet daily gas required to power the country.

He expressed amazement at the size of the projects and reiterated government’s preparedness to provide enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

He commended the business acumen Aliko Dangote saying the projects remained the most important in the country presently and must be supported, as it would help Nigeria’s economy when completed. He equally assured that the federal government would harness the potential of the private sector to make the nation economy recover speedily.

The Vice-President explained that the federal government would harness the potentials of the private sector to make the nation economy recover speedily.

Osinbajo was optimistic that the project would boost gas supply to power plants through the three billion standard cubic feet per day gas pipeline, said that the facility would buoy export earnings after meeting the nation’s current requirement of two billion standard cubit feet per day.

According to him, the gas pipeline, slated for commissioning in 2018, would take off from Bonny through Ogedegbe to Olokola and onward to Lekki, adding that the pipeline would hook up with Escravos-Lagos pipeline and the West African Gas Pipeline.

“The project is an incredible industrial undertaking and possibly the largest investment ambitious in the continent today. I think it is inspiring.

“The refinery would start production in the first quarter of 2019. The subsea gas pipeline, which is an important and strategic project, is meant to take off in 2018,” he stated.

While describing the refinery as the highest investment in Africa and the biggest of its type in the world with a 650,000 barrels per day refining capacity, he pointed out that the facility included a three million tonnes per year world single largest fertilizer plant, petrochemical plant; 400 Mega Watts power plant and 1,100 kilometers of pipeline to handle three billion standard cubic feet per day.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group, on his part explained that the diversification of Nigeria economy was long over due and that one sector that Nigeria can focuses on to rejuvenate the economy is agriculture.

He stated that his investment in fertilizer is one sure way the diversification into agriculture could succeeded because according to him, it will amount to little if focus is directed to agriculture and fertilizers would be imported.

“Agriculture is the way to go, but a critical component of that sector is fertilizers, Nigeria has more arable land than China which now is the biggest economy in the world, we can tap into our vast land and produce what we need and even export the remaining.

“By the time we complete this project, there will be opportunity to take on agriculture and say bye to poverty, because there will be jobs, no sector has more job potential than agriculture,” he noted.

He explained that the current effect of foreign exchange depreciation has taken its toll on the project, which was earlier estimated at N2.8 trillion has now doubled to N4.8 trillion. He also said he was committed to the multi-billion dollar project to aid the nation’s economy.

“We are putting in 65 million cubic meters of sand and that was why we brought in three dredgers, two of which are the biggest in the world. This place is eight times the size of Victoria Island.”

Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor, added that apart from the 135,000 direct jobs that will be created from the projects, another 100,000 indirect jobs would be generated while income accruable to the Federal Government would be in the region of over $500 million in three years.

“It is important that we understand the depth of what has happened here and also use it as a platform to encourage other investors that Lagos is on the rise and the future of Lagos is very bright,” the governor said.

Mr. Devakumar Edwin, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, added that the plant’s basic engineering was currently at 98 per cent completion, while the construction was 10 per cent in progress.

Edwin disclosed that the plant would generate over 100,000 employment opportunities and revive over 11,000 filling stations that have been shut down due to shortage of products. According to him, the project was designed to process largely variety of crudes including all African crudes, a range of Middle Eastern crudes and U.S crudes.