The President of the pan-African Conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Aliko Dangote, has said that the newly commissioned 650,000pbd refinery would employ over 100,000 Nigerians youths as well as generate over $21 billion, thereby saving the country huge foreign exchange.
The company, according to him, now has over 33,000 employees.
Dangote said that the commissioning marked the beginning of the new journey of self-sufficiency in refined petroleum products and exportation, the same way it was achieved in Cement and fertilizer sectors.
Dangote noted that the current fuel crisis has had negative impact on the nation’s economy and that the situation informed his decision to build a world class refinery that would change the trend.
He highlighted events leading to his deciding to build its own refinery after his attempt to acquire one of the existing moribund did not materialize.
He said that he decided to change marketing strategy and settle for gigantic project ever undertaken by an individual across the world.
According to him, the refinery plant would be run at the highest effective and efficient level for maximum benefits to all Nigerians.
“We will replicate what we achieved in cement and fertilizer by attaining self-sufficiency and becoming net exporter.’
Dangote assured Nigerians that 40 per cent of the production capacity will be available for export with the coming on stream of the plant, guaranteeing raw materials for plastic, and pharmaceutical industries.
In his remark, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Dangote Group, saying “the 650,000 barrels a day of crude which will enable our country to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and even have some supplies for export saying the government and people of Nigeria are proud of the doggedness and tenacity of Dangote as entrepreneur.
“This feat at this time of the nation’s economic development clearly made this event a notable milestone for our economy and the game changer for the downstream petroleum products not only for Nigeria but the entire African continent. Dangote Group has helped transform our economy from heavy import dependence to a net exporter in some critical industries, including cement and Fertiliser.”
He noted that the economy which has been stressed for many decades by huge deficits in economic infrastructure and over a decade of insurgency has also been severely impacted by several external crises, including the global financial crisis, the collapse of world crisis the Coronavirus pandemic and the Russia Ukraine war.
“The consequences of these challenges constitute a severe strain on our economy and limiting government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to borrowing. Government therefore decide 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 recognize that without active participation of the private sector and a strong commitment to public-private partnership, the economy will not be able to continue to meet the challenge and economic growth”, while expressing the hope that the coming administration will continue to apply such innovative schemes to accelerate the fruition of critical infrastructure, in particular roads and gas pipelines.