President Muhammadu Buhari has described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State as a significant milestone for Nigeria’s economy and a game changer for the downstream petroleum products market in the entire African region.
Buhari made the declaration while inaugurating the refinery in Lagos on Monday, May 22.
Speaking at the occasion attended by Presidents of Ghana, Togo, Niger, Senegal, and a representative of the President of Chad, President Buhari said: “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.”
The President, who commended the President of Dangote Group, 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 come together, integrate their economies, eliminate trade barriers, and rally their populations to achieve Agenda 2063 for the continent’s prosperity.
Buhari said: “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 realize 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 barriers to trade and energise 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 destabilise our economic and political trajectory.”
President Buhari further hailed the visionary investments made by the Dangote Group in transforming Nigeria’s economy through its involvement in critical industries such as cement and fertilizer.
He noted that investment in these sectors has played a crucial role in shifting Nigeria from heavy import dependence to becoming a net exporter.
Speaking at the event, Dangote emphasised the refinery’s role in fulfilling the group’s corporate vision of promoting self-sufficiency and global competitiveness.
The billionaire businessman said: “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 per cent 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.”