TOP STORIES: Dangote refinery game changer for Nigerian economy – Buhari.

‘I am confident that my successor, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will sustain the improvement in our economic and business environment…,” the president said.


         President Muhammadu Buhari at the commissioning of the Dangote Refinery.

History was made yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the first indigenous refinery in Nigeria, the $18.5 billion Dangote Petroleum Refinery, in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. Owner of the facility, Africa’s richest man and global business icon, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, received tons of applause and massive ovation from the upper crust of the business world.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday described the Dangote Refinery as a significant milestone for Nigeria’s economy and a game changer for the downstream petroleum products market in the entire African region.

The refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, which is expected to enable Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and even have a surplus for export.

A statement by Femi Adesina,
special adviser to the President
on Media & Publicity, said that Mr Buhari made the declaration while speaking at the commissioning of the refinery.

President Muhammadu Buhari Inaugurates Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Lagos on 22nd May 2023.

Heads of State from Ghana, Togo, Niger, Senegal and a representative of the President of Chad attended the event.


‘‘This mega industry we are commissioning today is a clear example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported and when an enabling environment is created for investments and for businesses to thrive,” Mr Buhari said.

‘‘I am confident that my successor, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will sustain the improvement in our economic and business environment and strengthen the framework of our public-private partnership policies to accelerate the pace of our economic growth and development.

‘‘I am happy to leave our economy in very competent hands.”
The Nigerian president, who commended Aliko Dangote’s leadership in executing the 650,000 barrels per day refinery, urged other entrepreneurs to emulate his example in driving economic growth and realising Nigeria’s economic potential.

He stressed the need for African countries to unite, integrate their economies, eliminate trade barriers, and rally their populations to achieve Agenda 2063 for the continent’s prosperity.


‘‘I urge and encourage our other great entrepreneurs to emulate this iconic Nigerian industrialist and join the Government in accelerating our growth in order to realise our country’s globally recognised economic potential.

‘‘When I travel around Africa and meet and engage my brother Heads of State (and I am delighted some of their Excellences are here), I often sense a quiet expectation that our country is blessed with resources and human capacity to lead Africa’s rise to economic prosperity and the attainment of Agenda 2063 – ‘The Africa we all want.’

‘‘But to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa must come together – we must integrate our economies, eliminate trade barriers and energise our youthful population to scale up our production capacity.
‘‘We must create necessary conditions for our private sector to grow and partner with the public sector to accelerate economic growth across the continent.

‘‘We must not allow outside powers to use some of our leaders to destabilise our economic and political trajectory,’’ he said.
Mr Buhari acknowledged the visionary investments made by the Dangote Group, under the leadership of Mr Dangote, in transforming Nigeria’s economy through its involvement in critical industries such as cement and fertiliser.

He noted that investment in these sectors had been crucial in shifting Nigeria from heavy import dependence to a net exporter.

The president acknowledged that Nigeria’s economy had faced significant challenges over the years, including deficits in economic infrastructure, insurgency, and external crises such as the Global Financial Crisis, oil price collapses, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

‘‘The consequence of these challenges constitutes a severe strain on our economy, limiting Government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to huge borrowings.

‘‘Our Government, therefore, took the decision to focus attention on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and fill the enormous gap in investments not only in infrastructure but also in all critical sectors.

‘‘We recognise that without the active participation of the private sector and a strong commitment to public-private partnership, our economy would continue to remain severely challenged and our economic growth impeded.
‘‘Government, therefore, will and should continue to provide an enabling environment and encourage innovative public-private partnerships in all sectors of our economy,’’ he said.

The President emphasised the administration’s commitment to this approach, citing Executive Order 007 of 2019, which facilitated the rehabilitation/construction of many roads by private sector investors using a Tax-credit scheme.


‘‘It is my hope that the succeeding Administration will continue to apply such innovative schemes in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the provision of critical infrastructure in particular roads, power and gas pipelines,’’ he said.

Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, pledged continued support for development of local refining capacity.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his remarks, said Buhari, Tinubu, and Dangote were a testament to the prosperity that could be achieved when leaders share a common vision for the people they lead.

Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, said, “This refinery is another milestone towards the New Nigeria, to which I am committed,” a new nation with a thriving private sector.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, in his goodwill message at the event, disclosed that the Dangote Group had paid back about 70 per cent of the loans it took to construct the refinery. Emefiele highlighted economic gains from the project to include savings of up to $30 billion annually in foreign exchange, and additional $10 billion in inflows.

Mr Dangote, in his speech, emphasised the refinery’s role in fulfilling the group’s corporate vision of promoting self-sufficiency and global competitiveness.
”We have built a Refinery with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day (plus 900,000 tonnes of polypropylene) in a single train – which is the largest in the world. We have selected the best plants and equipment and the latest technologies from across the world.



Aliko Dangote, chairman Dangote Cement

”Our products slate is designed to meet the highest quality standards and high-value products, including Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel), Aviation Turbine Kerosine (ATK); all of Euro V Standards that will enable us not only meet our Country’s demand but also to become a key player in the African and global market.

”Our coastal location and offshore loading and offloading (SPM) facilities, with a capacity to receive all our crude oil supplies and evacuate up to 75% of our liquid products, give us direct access to the rest of Africa and the global market for exports. In addition, 80 per cent of our products can be discharged through trucks nationwide.”

He disclosed that the huge investment of over $18.5billion in this industry was prompted by the company’s desire to support and contribute its quota to the Federal Government’s sustained effort to transform the economy and reposition Nigeria as the leading nation in Africa and a respected member among emerging economies in the world.
According to him, apart from ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality fuels for the transportation sector, the refinery will provide essential raw materials to a wide range of manufacturing sectors, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, packaging, construction, and more.

He further stated that the refinery’s operation and related businesses would generate a substantial number of job opportunities, while the downstream supply and distribution of its products would significantly contribute to the absorption of labour, potentially benefiting hundreds of thousands of individuals.
”Once our plant is fully on stream, we expect that at least 40% of the capacity will be available for export, and this will result in significant Foreign Exchange inflows into the country.

Overall, we are committed to operating our Plant in line with international best practice requirements, recognising the importance of protecting the environment, and putting in place stringent environmental, health and safety policies to ensure that the Refinery operates in a safe and sustainable manner,” he said.

Our refinery will supply first product to market by July —Aliko Dangote.

“This is a clear opportunity for Nigeria given the African Union’s commitment to the creation of an African Common Market through the recently established African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) regime,” Mr Dangote said.


The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said Monday that the first refined petroleum products from the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery would hit the market before the end of July.

Mr Dangote disclosed this while delivering his speech during the official commissioning of the refinery.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commissioned the refinery amid high expectations that it will impact the nation’s oil and gas sector and the larger economy.
The pipeline infrastructure at the refinery is said to be the largest in the world, with 1,100 kilometres and will handle 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.

“This is a clear opportunity for Nigeria given the African Union’s commitment to the creation of an African Common Market through the recently established African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) regime,” he said.

He explained that beyond the constant availability of high-quality fuels for the transportation sector, the refinery would also make available to local industries vital raw materials for a wide range of manufacturers in the plastics, pharmaceutical, food and beverages, packaging, construction, and many other industries.

He noted that while the refinery operation and ancillary business will generate massive job opportunities, the downstream value chain will equally provide far more absorptive capacity for labour in hundreds of thousands.

He added that once the plant is fully onstream, we expect that at least 40 per cent of the capacity will be available for export, and this will result in significant foreign exchange inflows into the country.

“Overall, we are committed to operating our plant in line with int’l best practice, recognising the importance of protecting the environment, we have adopted stringent environmental, health & safety policies,” he said.

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