With the start-up of operations at the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals, the Federal Government may save nearly N35 trillion in fiscal expenditures over the next five years.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, made the announcement on Monday during the inauguration of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical plant in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), who opened the refinery, the world’s largest single-train petroleum refinery, said his administration had been meticulous in establishing public-private partnerships.
He termed the refinery as a watershed moment for the Nigerian economy and a game changer for the African continent’s downstream petroleum sector.
“I recall that just about a year ago, I was here to commission your fertiliser (plant) and had the opportunity to briefly inspect this refinery complex that was under construction,” Buhari remarked. Aliko Dangote, Group Chairman, assured me that the refinery will be ready for commissioning before the end of my tenure.
“I am aware that the Dangote Group, led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is not the first to put Nigeria on the world map by aggressive investments in critical industries. This has aided in transforming our economy from a net importer to a net exporter in important industries such as cement and fertilizer.”
Buhari described the refinery as a game-changer at the inauguration, which was attended by senior government officials from Nigeria and other African countries, just as Aliko Dangote, Founder/Chairman of Dangote Group, declared that the facility would end the inflow of toxic substandard petroleum products into Nigeria.
According to the president, various external problems, including the global financial crisis, the collapse of oil prices, the Coronavirus epidemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war, have badly harmed Nigeria’s economy, which has been pressured for many years and over a decade of insurgency.
He claimed that the effects of these issues put a serious burden on the economy, restricting the government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to massive borrowing.
“As a result, our government has focused its efforts 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,” he said.
Dangote also announced that the refinery would begin providing refined products to the Nigerian market in July of this year, as operators urged the Federal Government to maintain transparency in crude oil supplies to the 650,000 barrels per day crude oil processing plant.
“It is our firm commitment that we will replicate in this sector what we have actually achieved in the cement and fertiliser markets, while Nigeria transformed from being the largest importer of these crude products to a net explorer,” Dangote said at the occasion.
He stated that the “first goal is to ramp up projections of various production to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy our nation’s demand for higher quality products, allowing us to eliminate the tragedy of import dependency and permanently end the dumping of toxic substandard petroleum products in our market.”
“Our first products will be available in the market before the end of July, beginning of August this year.”
He also stated that the refinery intends to export to 53 African countries that rely on petroleum products from other countries.
Meanwhile, Emefiele stated that the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals might save Nigeria between N5 trillion and N7 trillion in federal government fiscal expenditures over the next five years.