President Muhammadu Buhari, has inaugurated the Dangote Petroleum Refinery located in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
While inaugurating the multibillion dollar project on Monday, May 22, 2023, President Buhari described it as a game-changer for the Nigerian people.
He said, “I urge and encourage our other great entrepreneurs to emulate this iconic Nigerian industrialist and join the government in accelerating our growth in order to realize our country’s globally recognized economic potential.
“When I travel around Africa and meet and engage my brother Heads of State (and I am delighted some of their Excellencies are here), I often sense a quiet expectation that our country is blessed with resources and human capacity to lead Africa’s rise to economic prosperity and the attainment of Agenda 2063 – ‘The Africa we all want’.
“But to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa must come together – we must integrate our economies, eliminate barriers to trade and energize our youthful population to scale up our productive capacity.
“We must create necessary conditions for our private sector to grow and partner with the public sector to accelerate economic growth across the continent.
“We must not allow outside powers to use some of our leaders to destabilize our economic and political trajectory.”
The historic event was graced by some African leaders; President of Ghana, Nana Addo; the President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum; the President of Chad, Mahamat Derby; the President of Senegal, Macky Sall and his Togolese counterpart, Faure Gnassingbé.
The Ghanaian President, Akufo Addo, while delivering his speech said the refinery would not only strengthen the Nigerian economy, but that of West Africa and the entire continent by extension.
He noted, “I’ve said it before, that when we think of West Africa and Africa before our individual countries, we’re not just being Pan-Africans, we’re being true nationalists because what makes West Africa and indeed Africa better will make each of our individual countries better and more prosperous.
Addo added that “this spectacular project, the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical complex does exactly that. It makes West Africa better and stronger”.
Similarly, the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, in his own speech, observed that the Dangote Refinery is a thing of pride for the entire African continent.
Sall said, “It is a great investment that confers great respect and admiration to Nigeria, the most populous country in our continent. The Dangote Group is certainly helping to meet the challenge of universal access to electricity, to give fertiliser and to give opportunities to the other African countries.”
The plant owned by Dangote Group, cost about $19bn in construction according to the Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
According to Dangote, “Our first goal is to ramp up production of the various products to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy the nation’s demand for quality products.”
The refinery in Lagos, took nearly seven years to build, and it is said to be the world’s largest single-train refinery, meaning the plant has one integrated distillery system which can produce a variety of products and petrochemicals, instead of having different units for each type of product.
The plant, which is not yet operational, is said to have the capacity to produce about 650,000 barrels of petroleum products a day. It also includes a power station, deep seaport and fertiliser plant.
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