This Will Result In Significant Foreign Exchange Inflows Into The Country – Dangote Speaks About Refinery.
On May 22nd, President Muhammadu Buhari officially inaugurated Nigeria’s first indigenous refinery, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
This monumental event was attended by distinguished figures from the business world, who greeted the owner of the facility, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with resounding applause and a standing ovation.
During the ceremony, Dangote expressed his commitment to meeting Nigeria’s domestic demand for petroleum products. He announced that the first batch of refined products from the refinery would be available in the Nigerian market by the end of July or early August.
The event was graced by the presence of Heads of State from Ghana, Togo, Niger, Senegal, and a representative of the President of Chad, highlighting the significance of this achievement on a regional level.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, President Buhari emphasized the importance of the refinery while delivering his speech at the commissioning ceremony.
President Buhari expressed his confidence that the modern Dangote Petroleum Refinery would contribute to Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in refined products and potentially allow for surplus exports. He praised President-elect Bola Tinubu and believed he would sustain the favourable business environment that facilitated such a remarkable project.
President Buhari recognized the leadership of Aliko Dangote in successfully executing the refinery project and encouraged other entrepreneurs to follow his example in driving economic growth and realizing Nigeria’s economic potential.
He emphasized the importance of African countries uniting, integrating their economies, and eliminating trade barriers to achieve the continent’s prosperity outlined in Agenda 2063.
President Buhari acknowledged the visionary investments made by the Dangote Group, particularly in critical sectors like cement and fertilizer, which transformed Nigeria’s economy and shifted it from import dependence to becoming a net exporter. H
e acknowledged the challenges faced by Nigeria’s economy, such as infrastructure deficits, insurgency, global crises, and external conflicts. The President highlighted the government’s focus on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive through public-private partnerships.
He expressed the administration’s commitment to continue facilitating innovative schemes in partnership with the private sector, particularly in critical infrastructure development such as roads, power, and gas pipelines.
President Buhari expressed hope that the succeeding administration would maintain and further apply these approaches to accelerate the provision of essential infrastructure.
Mr Godwin Emefiele
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced during the event that the Dangote Group had already repaid approximately 70% of the loans taken to construct the refinery. He highlighted the project’s economic benefits, including annual savings of up to $30 billion in foreign exchange and an additional $10 billion in inflows.
Emefiele emphasized that one of the key advantages of the refinery would be significant savings for Nigeria in foreign exchange expenditure, estimated between $25 billion to $30 billion annually. He commended the Dangote Group for their commercial capability, as they had already begun repaying some of the loans even before the refinery’s inauguration.
The Governor expressed his gratitude to the local Nigerian banks for their support and understanding throughout the financing process. He explained that the initial estimate for the refinery’s cost was $9 billion, with $3 billion as an equity investment by the Dangote Group and the rest financed through commercial loans.
However, the project’s total cost eventually reached $18.5 billion due to various factors, with a distribution of 50% equity investment and 50% debt finance.
Emefiele highlighted the substantial foreign exchange savings that the refinery would bring to Nigeria, reducing the pressure on the country’s balance of payments and bolstering its foreign exchange reserves. He also emphasized the positive impact on the government’s fiscal operations, particularly in easing the burden of funding petroleum subsidies and generating fiscal savings.
The Governor underscored the significance of the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals in diversifying Nigeria’s economy. He mentioned several interventions by the CBN in supporting the real sector and various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and services.
The CBN has released substantial funds to these sectors to enhance their productive capacity, promote infrastructural development, and improve access to energy for domestic production.
Emefiele concluded that the Dangote Refinery and similar initiatives were part of the collective efforts to drive Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda and reduce the nation’s dependence on petroleum imports.
In his speech, Mr Dangote highlighted the significant role of the refinery in fulfilling the corporate vision of promoting self-sufficiency and global competitiveness. With a capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day, the refinery is the largest in the world and equipped with top-of-the-line plants, equipment, and technologies.
The product slate of the refinery is designed to meet the highest quality standards, including Euro V Standards, and includes premium motor spirit, automotive gas oil, and aviation turbine kerosene. This not only satisfies Nigeria’s demand but also positions the Dangote Group as a key player in the African and global markets.
The strategic coastal location of the refinery and its offshore loading and offloading facilities provide direct access to the rest of Africa and the global market for exports. Moreover, a significant portion of the products can be distributed nationwide through trucks, enhancing accessibility within Nigeria.
The substantial investment of over $18.5 billion in the refinery demonstrates the Dangote Group’s commitment to supporting the government’s efforts in transforming the economy and positioning Nigeria as a leading nation in Africa and among emerging economies worldwide.
In addition to providing high-quality fuels, the refinery will serve as a crucial supplier of raw materials for various manufacturing sectors, leading to job creation and economic growth.
Mr Dangote emphasized that a substantial portion of the refinery’s capacity will be available for export, resulting in significant foreign exchange inflows for the country. The company is dedicated to operating the plant in line with international best practices, prioritizing environmental protection and implementing stringent policies for safety and sustainability.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State praised President Muhammadu Buhari, President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for their shared vision and commitment to Nigeria’s economic growth.
He highlighted their connection to the newly commissioned privately owned refinery in Nigeria as a testament to what can be achieved through leadership. Sanwo-Olu emphasized that these leaders exemplify great leadership qualities, consistency, and the belief that change and prosperity are possible.
He commended Dangote for his impact on the lives of Nigerians and his belief in the country and its youth. The governor also acknowledged the role of President-elect Tinubu in shaping the modern history and development trajectory of Lagos.
He expressed hope that Tinubu’s additional visions would be realized when he becomes president. Governor Sanwo-Olu also acknowledged the hospitality shown by the host communities to investors in the Lekki area.
Peter Obi, in his message of goodwill, expressed that the inauguration of the Dangote refinery marks another significant step towards the emergence of a new Nigeria.
As a presidential candidate for the LP (Labour Party), he affirmed his commitment to this vision of a new nation that fosters a thriving private sector, enabling the growth of micro, small, and medium-scale businesses to boost the economy and enhance productivity.
Obi attended the commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals in Lagos and congratulated Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the world-class project, which he believes will bring substantial benefits to Nigeria’s economy.
With its capacity to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day, the refinery is expected to meet the country’s domestic demand for petroleum products and reduce the need for foreign exchange spent on imports. Furthermore, by exporting surplus products to international markets, Nigeria can position itself as a key player in the global downstream petroleum sector.
Obi has consistently advocated for increased private sector involvement to shift Nigeria from being a consumer to a producer. He sees the Dangote Refinery as a significant contributor to the nation’s economy, creating employment opportunities and generating foreign exchange inflows by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products.
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