The Commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals in Lagos State, is the buzzing news of the day, however, many Nigerian still wonder why this venture is termed a ‘Game Changer’ for Nigeria and Africa a whole.
No, the answer is not just in the fact it is the World’s Largest Single-Train 650,000 barrels per day Petroleum Refinery with 900 KTPA Polypropylene Plant, there is more to the existence and relevance of this project.
Here are seven reasons why the Dangote refinery is such a big deal for Nigeria and indeed for Africa as a whole.
With the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria will attain an autarky in refined petroleum products, urea and petrol-polypropylene. This will further provides excess capacity in refined products, which will now go for the export market.
According to Aliko Dangote, the government is focused on turning Nigeria into a manufacturing hub, by adding value to our natural resources through processing and refining.
And as such, the goal of the Dangote Group is to produce within Nigeria most of the goods that were usually imported despite having abundant resources for domestic manufacturing of the same products.
“Our investment in cement manufacturing has made Nigeria self-sufficient, thereby transforming us from an import-dependent to a cement exporting nation,” the industrialist said on Monday.
2. Takes Burdens off the FG
The Nigerian government cannot continue to bear the cost of subsidy payments and as such, the inauguration of the Dangote Refinery is a proud moment for the country in that it takes the burden off the government.
This refinery will help satisfy growing demands for refined petroleum products in both local and regional markets, as against simply exporting unprocessed crude to diminishing markets overseas.
3. Will generate 12,000 Megawatts Of Electricity
Expected when fully operational, is the generation of more power for Nigeria’s electricity sector.
Speaking today at the inauguration in Lagos State, Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the Dangote Refinery is expected to generate 12,000 megawatts of electricity.
According ton him, this project will also provide over 135,000 permanent jobs for Nigerians.
4. Saves the country Billions of Dollars
The Central Bank of Nigeria has also said that the refinery project saves Nigeria between $25 and $30 billion in forex annually.
As of 2014, the CBN says 30 per cent of Foreign Exchange required to meet Nigeria’s import needs went into the importation of refined petroleum products that is the gap now that the Dangote Refinery will bridge and save the country needed funds.
5. Yields Billions for Nigeria Yearly
Not only will the refinery save us money, it will also be yielding and increasing revenue for the nation.
According to the CBN governor, this venture that continues to give, will bring into the economy an inflow of $10 billion yearly.
It is also expected that this project will help stabilise the naira and impact the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians.
6. Proofs Nigeria and Africa is not land of desolation
Beyond money and petroleum products the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals is a huge statement that has the potential to bury all the negative stereotypes about Nigeria and Africa.
For too long, the nation and the continent have been portrayed as a place of desolation, a land of poverty that needs saving. This is usually seen in the movies and other western media portrayals.
But like the Vice President-Elect, Kashim Shettima said today, “Africa is not all about the crisis in Sudan, Africa is not all about poverty, Africa is not all about deprivation and destitution, Africa is not all about insecurity, I hope the CNN, the BBC, and the Sky News of this world will be around to give maximum coverage to this function.”
7. Sets the precedence for the future
There are many more landmark projects expected from the Dangote Group, as well as other Nigerian and African entrepreneurs who have already embarked on similar projects.
This gigantic plant goes a long way to show and prove that Nigeria and by extension Africa, can produce whatever it needs to consume.
According to Dangote, a Fertiliser Plant was commissioned in March 2022, with the nation now self-sufficient in the production of fertiliser, the surplus is going for the export market thereby generating crucial foreign exchange earnings for the country.
He adds that Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals was conceived as an answer to the perennial shortage of premium motor spirit (PMS) in the country and a supply of all other petroleum products to meet the teeming demands.