By Yunus Yusuf
Lagos – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), western zone, on Wednesday says that the 18 billion dollars Dangote refinery will boost the country’s foreign investment when it finally comes on stream.
The Zonal Chairman, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos against the backdrop of arrears of N800 billion government owed marketers on subsidy.
The Dangote refinery, which has the capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day with petrochemical plant which will produce 780 KTPA Polypropylene, 500 KTPA of Polyethylene, is expected to come on stream by 2019.
Ahmed said the multi-billion dollar project, when completed, would finally address the challenges facing the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry and also aid the nation’s economy.
He said that the refinery would also attract more foreign investments into the country’s economy and boost oil and gas revenue , while urging Federal Government to intensify support for the actualisation of the project.
The IPMAN boss urged government to formulate policies that would liberalise the market to promote downstream sector.
He said that government had a lot of roles to play in setting the right policies for a robust and investment friendly atmosphere.
According to him, the refinery is expected to create over 300,000 jobs and eradicate petroleum products importation in the country by the first quarter of 2019 when it’s finally completed.
“The refinery, when completed, would save the country billions of dollars foreign exchange on petroleum product importation and also create foreign exchange earning to Nigeria from the savings.
“The refinery would also complement the existing refineries in the country to boost refined products and would crash the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) because the product is refined in the country.
“Therefore, it will save some costs incurred in the import market and crash price of petrol in the market,’’ he said.
Ahmed, however, appealed to the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that would reshape the oil and gas industry.
He said that the pending bill had affected the economy’s growth of the industry, adding that the passage of the governance aspect of the bill was a right direction but other bills needed to be addressed urgently.