President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday inaugurated the $19 billion Dangote petroleum refinery in Lagos.
The gigantic project is expected to be a game changer transforming Nigeria’s energy sector.
Speaking at the inauguration, Buhari said the facility has the capacity to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil a day which would enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products, and even have some surplus for export.
“This clearly makes this event a notable milestone for our economy and a game-changer for the downstream petroleum products market, not only in Nigeria, but the entire African continent,” Buhari said.
The President said Nigeria’s economy has been stressed for many decades by deficiencies in economic infrastructure and over a decade of insurgency.
He said it has also been severely impacted by several external crisis including the global financial crisis, the collapse of oil prices, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Buhari said, the consequences of these challenges constitutes a severe strain on “our economy, limiting government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to huge borrowings.”
He said, “Our government, therefore, took the decision to focus attention on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and fill the enormous depth in investments not only in infrastructure, but also in all critical sectors.
“We recognise that without active participation of the private sector and a strong commitment to public private partnership, our economy will continue to remain severely challenged.
“Government, therefore, will and should continue to provide an enabling environment and encourage innovative public private partnership in all sectors of our economy.”
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery, with a capacity to process 650,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), is sitting on 2,635 hectares of land located in Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, and will employ over 100,000 persons.
The coming onstream of the project is expected to mark Nigeria’s exit from the league of oil-rich nations which are heavy importers of petroleum products.
It expected that the new refinery would meet 100 percent of the Nigerian requirement of all refined products (gasoline, 53 million litres per day; diesel, 34 million litres per day; kerosene, 10 million litres per day, and aviation jet, (2 million litres per day), and also have a surplus of each of these products for export.
The refinery is also said to be designed for 100 percent Nigerian crude with the flexibility to process other crudes.
Addressing guests at the event Dangote thanked Buhari for his unwavering commitment to the project.
He promised that petroleum products from the refinery would circulate in the Nigerian market soon.
“Our 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 to enable us to eliminate the tragedy of import dependency and stop, once and for all, the dumping in our market of toxic substandard petroleum products” the billionaire said.
“Our first products will be in the market before the end of July, beginning of August this year.”


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