By Lekan Bilesanmi
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Paul Ruwase has described as magnificent and spectacular the impact the Dangote Oil Refinery project would have on the Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector.
Ruwase, who led members of the chamber on a tour of Dangote Jetty, Refinery and Fertilizer plants recently in Lagos, expressed excitement over the pace of work at the Refinery and Fertilizer plants, which he described as a game changer for the Nigeria oil sector.
He commended the President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the enormous investment in Africa, saying, “Dangote’s patriotism remains unparalleled when it comes to investment and that his investments in many sectors have been a key factor behind Nigeria’s improving economy.
Dangote is doing so much to positively impact the lives of Nigerians through the production of household products.”
He said the world is waiting for Dangote Oil Refinery project to bail Nigeria out from the clutches of importation of petroleum products. “This project is the first of its kind. There is no investor in Nigeria that has developed the courage to come up with such gigantic project. From what we have seen today, we now have a better perception about the project. From what we have seen on ground, it shows that the project is a reality and it is possible for Nigeria to become exporter of petroleum product,” he said.
He also commended the company for building a jetty to carter for the movement of heavy equipment to the refinery site. “This will greatly reduce the congestion at Apapa port and also help to cut down traffic on the Apapa road,” he added.
Ruwase therefore appealed to other investors to thread the pact of Dangote by investing heavily in the Nigerian economy.
Speaking on the progress made so far, Head, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, Dangote Oil Refinery Company Limited, Rama Rao Putta, described the project as the largest single train petroleum refinery in the world with capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil.
He said the refinery will lead to the protection of forex revenue of around $16 billion a year at current market prices and saving of $10 billion a year through domestic supplies of petroleum products.
Putta said that the refinery is going to create 100,000 indirect employments through retail outlets and ease availability of petroleum products in the country.
He noted that the company has completed the training of the first and second batches of Nigerian Engineers in India and that the employees were being acclimatized at site.
Speaking also at the event, General Manager of Dangote Fertilizer Limited, Anurag Jaiswal, described Dangote Fertiliser project as the largest granulated urea fertilizer complex coming up in the entire fertilizer industry history in the world.
He put the investment at $2 billion with capacity to handle three million tonnes yearly.
Jaiswal, said the impact on the economy of Nigeria and the entire region cannot be over-emphasized.
“This is going to be one of the largest single capacity complex in the world producing in total 8,000 tonnes of urea daily. We’ll be having two trains of ammonia and two trains of urea and each train will produce 4,000 tonnes. So in a year it will be 3 million tonnes.
“It is much expensive to import from abroad due to freight cost but it will certainly be cheaper if you are importing from Nigeria. It will have a huge impact on the Nigerian economy because we will be saving a lot of foreign exchange,” he noted.