By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has said that the Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser projects would positively affect the economic growth and development of not only Nigeria but Africa as a continent.adding that the projects are the best industrialised project to happen to Africa.
The AfDB boss, who was on a tour of Dangote refinery and fertiliser projects over the weekend with the board members of the bank, described Aliko Dangote as an enigma, who should be honoured in Africa and even beyond for his passion, vision and determination to develop and ensure that Africa, as a continent, is out of the poverty circle; with his aggressive employment generation scheme across most African countries.
According to him: “One of the things I admire the most about Alhaji Dangote is that, he actually believes in Nigeria, and he invests his money in Nigeria. He believes in Africa and invests in Africa. Nobody could invest the type of billions of dollars that is here, unless the person not only has the vision but also the commitment and passion for his country. We are extremely proud of you and of your commitment to the continent.
“Aliko is quite an inspirational and visionary business leader and for anybody to have done what I have seen here, I think that person deserves world class kudos for that… I see a company that I will proudly call Africa’s growth accelerator company. With this project, we see an acceleration of how to reduce imports. We see an acceleration on how to have an outbound on export; a value chain development and how to compete regionally and globally”, the top banker said.
“I am completely blown away with what I saw here today…I can’t believe what I saw…this project will reverse the huge sum the nation spends on foreign exchange…when you look at how much we import, it is about $57 billion worth of different products and we export only about $50.4bn, so we have to balance that with about $7bn and talking to them here, they showed us that they can have a domestic market of about $11bn and that is an incredible market and that will save Nigeria about $9 billion dollars, a year from importing petroleum products, so this is huge for Nigeria and even for Africa as a continent,” Adesina enthused.
On the fertiliser complex, he said, “being a man passionate about agriculture, this is a company that is producing three million metric tonnes of urea, which will make Nigeria totally self-sufficient”, and added that, “Nigeria will become net exporter of fertilisers. It will drive productivity growth in Nigeria, prices will come down and the quality will also improve.”
While thanking the AfDB team for their visit to the Plants, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said, “The Refinery will commence operation by the third quarter of 2022. On the mechanical completion, we are almost finished but we have started hydro testing, almost 70 per cent gone, hopefully before the end of Q3 operation will commence.”
Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin said the refinery complex, which includes a refinery, petrochemical plant, a fertiliser plant and a subsea pipeline project, is the largest single-train refinery in the world.
He stated that the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would stimulate economic development in Nigeria. According to Edwin, Dangote Petroleum Refinery can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Jet), and also have surplus of each of these products for export.
He stated that this would create a market for $11 billion per annum of Nigerian crude and foreign exchange savings/earnings $9.9 billion. He noted that, “we have impacted on job creation with 3,580 Nigerian personnel on site, excluding employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the site.”