Tuesday, May 23, 2023

President Buhari Officially Opens Dangote Refinery, Valued at $18 Billion

In a momentous event, President Muhammadu Buhari proudly inaugurated the Dangote Petroleum

Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. This remarkable facility, constructed at a cost of $18 billion, marked a significant milestone for Nigeria's economy. The President, accompanied by his counterparts from Ghana, Togo, Niger, Senegal, and a representative of the President of Chad, emphasized the refinery's potential to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and even create a surplus for export.


President Buhari hailed the refinery as a game changer for the downstream petroleum products market in Africa. He highlighted the importance of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs while creating an enabling environment for investments and business growth. Expressing confidence in his successor, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President Buhari believed that the improvement in Nigeria's economic and business environment would continue under his leadership. He expressed contentment in leaving the country's economy in capable hands.


President Buhari commended the leadership of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the visionary behind the 650,000 barrels per day refinery. He urged other entrepreneurs to emulate Dangote's example in driving economic growth and realizing Nigeria's immense potential. The President emphasized the need for African countries to integrate their economies, eliminate trade barriers, and rally their populations to achieve Agenda 2063 for the continent's prosperity. He stressed the importance of creating conditions for the private sector to grow and partner with the public sector to accelerate economic growth across Africa, cautioning against outside powers attempting to destabilize the region's economic and political trajectory.


President Buhari acknowledged the transformative investments made by the Dangote Group, particularly in critical industries like cement and fertilizer. These investments have played a crucial role in shifting Nigeria from heavy import dependence to becoming a net exporter. Despite significant challenges faced by Nigeria's economy, including deficits in economic infrastructure, insurgency, and external crises, the government has focused on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and bridge the investment gap.


The President highlighted the administration's commitment to public-private partnerships and providing an enabling environment for innovative schemes. He cited Executive Order 007 of 2019, which facilitated the rehabilitation and construction of roads by private sector investors through a tax-credit scheme. He expressed hope that the succeeding administration would continue to apply similar schemes in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the provision of critical infrastructure.


In his address, Alhaji Aliko Dangote emphasized the refinery's role in fulfilling the group's corporate vision of promoting self-sufficiency and global competitiveness. The refinery boasted a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day, making it the largest in the world. Dangote proudly shared that the refinery's products would meet the highest quality standards, including Euro V Standards, enabling Nigeria to meet domestic demand while becoming a key player in the African and global market.


Dangote highlighted the coastal location and offshore loading and offloading facilities of the refinery, which would provide direct access to the rest of Africa and the global market for exports. Additionally, a significant portion of the production could be distributed nationwide through trucks, ensuring widespread availability of the refinery's products. The immense investment of over $18.5 billion was driven by Dangote Group's desire to support the Nigerian government's efforts to transform the economy and position the country as a leading nation in Africa and among emerging economies worldwide.


Apart from ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality fuels for the transportation sector, the refinery would provide essential raw materials for various manufacturing sectors, including plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, packaging, and construction. The operation of the refinery and its related businesses would generate a substantial number of job opportunities, contributing to the absorption of labor and potentially benefiting hundreds of thousands of individuals.


Dangote projected that once the refinery is fully operational, at least 40% of its capacity would be available for export, resulting in significant foreign exchange inflows into the country. Furthermore, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery would operate in line with international best practices, prioritizing environmental protection and implementing stringent policies for health and safety to ensure a safe and sustainable operation.


The inauguration of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery marked a new era for Nigeria's economy, positioning the country for self-sufficiency in refined products and bolstering its presence in the global market. With the commitment of entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote and the continued support of the government, Nigeria's economic growth and development are poised for significant acceleration.

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