ELEVEN Nigerian state governors have paid a joint visit to Aliko Dangote’s refinery and petrochemicals plant currently under construction in the Lekki area of Lagos State to assess ongoing work at the facility.
In an ambitious plan aimed at ending Nigeria’s dependence on petrol imports, Alhaji Dangote is building Africa’s largest refinery at Lekki which is due to come on stream in 2020. When operational, the facility will have the capacity to process about 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil, transported via pipelines from oil fields in the Niger Delta, where natural gas will also be sourced to supply a fertiliser factory and additionally be used for electricity generation.
Planned to refine more crude oil than Nigeria’s current total capacity, the project is expected to cost up to $15bn in total, with $10bn invested in the refinery, $2.5bn in the fertiliser factory, and $2.5bn in pipeline infrastructure. With a single crude oil distillation unit, the refinery will be the largest single-train refinery in the world.
Over the weekend, 11 governors who were meeting in Lagos, visited the Lekki facility together to get a firsthand look at it. Those ion the tour included Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Bala Muhammed (Bauchi), while the governor of Cross Rivers State, Benedict Ayade was represented by his deputy, Ivara Esu.
They were led on the visit by Governor Fayemi, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, who described Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals as a pride to Nigeria and Africa. He said the project would contribute immensely to Africa’s economy and help the continent attain food security when fully operational.
Governor Fayemi said: “This is an inspirational initiative by the president of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote. It demonstrates the possibility where government provides the enabling environment the way the Lagos State government has done ,for individuals that are serious-minded and have what it takes to excel.
“This an individual that has put together a $12bn project that we have toured almost throughout the day and had to cut it short to be able to attend to other businesses. This is a pride to Africa and not just to Nigeria and I don’t know anywhere in Africa you will find a complex such as this.
“I don’t think that there are many places in the world where you will find a complex as comprehensive and extensive as the one we have been privileged to tour. We are all looking forward to the products that will come out from this place, the plastics, the oil from the refinery and the fertilisers for our agriculture.”
Host Governor Sanwoolu of Lagos State commended Alhaji Dangote for taking the decision to put the strategic investment in Lagos, adding that the government would continue to do its best to support the smooth completion of the project. He added that the plan of the government was to open up the place so that people could come and work, live and contribute to the economy.
Alhaji Dangote thanked the governors for the visit to the facility and assured them that the group would continue to invest in Nigeria to create jobs and make all Nigerians proud. He added: “We will continue to make sure that we are the ones that will lead and others will follow, as we want to bring all our monies to Nigeria and invest where we belong to.”