- Dangote Group Says Developing Local Expertise To Manage Refinery
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday in Lagos said based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the oil companies, the $15bn Dangote Oil Refinery projects will buy its crude in Naira, refine it, and produce it for the use of Nigerians in naira.
Speaking after the tour, Emefiele said the refinery being constructed by the Dangote Group, would sell refined crude to Nigeria in naira when it commences production, thereby correcting a situation where expends about 41% of its foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products.
Continuing, he expressed optimism “that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.”
The refinery expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, he believes, would put an end to the issue of petrol subsidy in the country, besides making “the price of our petroleum products cheaper in naira.
“If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in Naira.
“This will increase our volume in Naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Emefiele stressed.
“I am saying that by this time next year, our cost of import of petroleum products for petrochemicals or fertiliser will be saved, which will save Nigeria’s reserve… It will help us so that we can begin to focus on more important items that we cannot produce in Nigeria today,” Emefiele said.
He said the CBN had given a N100 billion intervention to the projects, adding that the apex bank was ready to support Nigerian businesses set up to uplift the country economically.
Also speaking at the event, President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the Dangote Oil Refinery is building the expertise level among young Nigerian graduates to take over management of its 650,000 barrels per day single train refinery when it becomes operational in 2022.
He affirmed that the country is blessed with great talents capable of running a refinery of that size, if given the necessary encouragement, such as they are getting from the first-hand experience.
The outbreak of Corona Virus last year, forced many expatriates out of the Construction site, making it possible for the company to identify existing great talents within Nigeria, adding that “these young Nigerians are the ones that are going to run the refinery when it becomes operational.
“We want a situation whereby the operation of the refinery will be the sole responsibility of Nigerian graduates. We can start the process by bringing in team leaders to keep giving them that training they require to run a world class refinery.
“However, we will ensure that Nigerian engineers, welders and others are the ones running the refinery. We have created that capacity, human capacity, equipment capacity and every other thing to ensure the successful operation of the refinery by Nigerian engineers,” he stressed.
Dangote said that the fertiliser and petrochemicals plants were capable of generating US$2.5bn annually, while the refinery would serve Nigeria and other countries across the world.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN governor for their support toward the completion of the projects.
Photo caption: President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote (right) stressing a point to the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele (second left), and Chairman Geregu Power Plc, Femi Otedola (second right), during a facility tour of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, Petrochemical Complex, Fertilizer Plant & Subsea Gas Pipeline Projects, in Lekki Lagos on Saturday, February 27, 2021. With them is Giuseppe Surace (left), Chief Operations Officer, Dangote Oil Refinery Company.