‘‘I’m Happy To Leave Economy In Very Competent Hands”, Buhari Says As He Commissions Dangote Refinery
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday, while inaugurating the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, said that he is happy to leave Nigeria’s economy in competent hands.
Buhari noted that the refinery is an example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs are supported, an enabling environment created for investments and for businesses to thrive, adding that he has confident that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, would sustain the improvement in Nigeria’s economic and business environment.
“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.
‘‘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,’’ he said.
Expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s single-train facility, the Dangote Refinery has a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, sufficient to meet Nigeria’s need for refined petroleum products.
According to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the refinery presents Nigeria as an attractive investment destination for local and foreign investors.
The plant, was previously set to come on stream in 2020, but the completion of construction work was later shifted.
Buhari urged other entrepreneurs to emulate Dangote and join the government in accelerating Nigeria’s growth in order to realize the country’s globally recognized economic potential.
He also stated that for Africa to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, there is need for integration of economies, elimination of barriers to trade and energize the continent’s youthful population to scale up Africa’s productive capacity.
‘‘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 barriers to trade and energize our youthful population to scale up our productive 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 destabilize our economic and political trajectory,’’ he said.
In his remarks, President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the company has selected the best plants and equipment and the latest technologies from across the world.
He emphasized that the refinery, which cost about $18.5billion is part of Dangote Group’s contribution to supporting the Federal Government in its effort to transform Nigeria’s economy.
”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.
”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 percent of our production can be discharged through trucks nationwide,” he added.
According to Dangote, ”Once our plant is fully on stream, we expect that at least 40 percent of the capacity will be available for export and this will result in significant Foreign Exchange inflows into the country.”
Presidents of Ghana, Togo, Niger, Senegal and a representative of the President of Chad, were some of the dignitaries at the inauguration.