President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the refinery, which is currently the world’s largest single-train petroleum refiner, in Lagos State on Monday.
Senior government officials from Nigeria and other African countries attended the inauguration at the Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State. Attendees include governors, lawmakers, government functionaries, royal fathers, captains of industries and prominent Nigerians from all walks of life.
Reacting to the project on his Twitter handle, Obi, who is a former Anambra State governor, said the world-class project would be “very beneficial to Nigeria’s economy”.
According to him, the refinery with a capacity of 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day when operated maximally, is expected to meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for petroleum products and help Nigeria to save the much-needed foreign exchange currently spent on the importation of such products.
He wrote, “By supplying the surplus to the International markets, Nigeria will reposition itself as a key player in the downstream petroleum sector of the global market. In moving Nigeria from consumption to production,
“I have always argued for greater private sector participation in the economy as exemplified by the Dangote Group. I believe the Dangote Refinery will be very beneficial to the nation’s economy.
“This refinery is another milestone towards the New Nigeria, to which I am committed. That new nation will be an enabling environment for a booming private sector that will see the rise of many micro, small and medium-scale businesses that will boost the nation’s economy and foster increased productivity among our people,”
Speaking at the event, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also said the projects came with some economic benefits to Nigeria.
According to him, the project will generate thousands of direct jobs and millions of indirect jobs, with over 135,000 permanent jobs.
He added that nearly 4,000 Nigerian personnel are on site, excluding employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the project site.
The apex bank boss also said that the project would generate up to 12,000WM of electricity, saying, “I am also proud to state that the project will generate up to 12,000MW of electricity. In addition, the refinery and the other ancillary projects will have significant multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy by supporting a diverse range of sectoral value-chains.”
Emefiele further said that the project could save the country in terms of foreign exchange and fiscal burden.