Akpabio: By Completing 650,000bpd Refinery, Dangote Has Shamed Nigerian Governments

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio yesterday declared that the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote shamed successive Nigerian governments by completing the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote Petroleum Refinery, describing the facility as the ninth wonder of the world....READ FULL ARTICLE

Commending Dangote for completing the largest single train refinery in the world in a record time, the Senate President said Dangote deserved all the accolades for the feat, noting that a simple residence for Nigeria’s Vice President could not be completed by successive administrations until after 14 years.

Akpabio came hard on those who were skeptical of the completion of the refinery, describing them as dream killers.

Akpabio, who led the leadership of the 10th Senate on a tour of the refinery in Lagos, said detractors of the refinery had all been silenced and that indeed, previous governments had been put to shame with the completion of the project.

He promised that the National Assembly would give it what it takes to protect the project, describing it as one project that Nigeria and indeed Africa should take the ownership of and protect from jealousy.

He said: “They told us in Abuja that Dangote Refinery is a farce but we have come here and see for ourselves that the refinery is alive and running. Dangote has put to shame a lot of people. They are wondering how it will be possible for a single individual to accomplish what a whole nation could not accomplish; what 240 million people could not maintain; what a continent could not do and then one person buil a 650,000bpd project.

“They keep wondering how one person can succeed where nations have failed; where the continent failed. But Dangote has done it. It is highly commendable.

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“We came to see the refinery because we in the current Senate believe in the Nigerian dream. We didn’t come as a doubting Thomas but we came because we believe in the project; we came to rekindle the hope of Nigerians and the Nigerians’ can-do spirit.”

Akpabio stated that Nigeria couldn’t make her refineries function in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Warri, but that Dangote and his team have proven that it is possible to dream and achieve it in Nigeria.”

He said the shame that came with the discovery of oil in Nigeria in 1958 has been removed by Dangote, alluding to a report that India does not have oil but his refineries from where the country exports refined products.

“The inability of the nation to refine its oil has brought untold hardship on Nigerians so much so that the Belgian government recently banned the exportation of dirty and condemned fuel to West African countries just because we can’t refine our own products.”

Describing the refinery as quite unbelievable, Akpabio said the Senate and the entire National Assembly would come up with robust legislation that would protect the project and others like it.

He stated: “Mr. Dangote, I pity you a lot because even your friends will envy you simply because they will keep wondering how can you succeed when nations, and continents have failed. Now that we have seen for ourselves, we are here to announce our own endorsement of this major project. It is also shocking to see that we produce sufficient fertilisers for Nigeria and enough to be exported.

“As I said we will do our report and we will speak to Mr President to put a stop to fertiliser import to Nigeria. You will hear from us soon,” he added.

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Also speaking, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stated that it is a privilege that the refinery happened in “our time, our state and our country.”

According to the governor, “people talk about dreams, but only few can make it happen. Dangote has put Lagos State and the whole of Nigeria on the world map of excellence.

“I am happy the Senate came to see for themselves; Dangote was not ready to rest after successfully building the largest cement factory chain in Africa, second largest sugar refinery in the world. With investment like this, I can assure you that we are on the right path to meet the projected GDP of $1trillion by 2030.

“You have the key to the city, I have given you a long time ago and I am happy you are using it very well,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.

In his remarks, Dangote explained that the “visit could not have come at a more auspicious time than now, just as the company is in the process of bringing the various units of this complex integrated refining processes on stream, an eagerly awaited move.”

“The refinery will help boost Nigeria’s economic growth, with the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. During the construction stage, it supported over 150,000 jobs, made up of mostly Nigerians. These Nigerians in the process acquired various skills that are still useful in other construction projects.

“The capacity of the refinery is enough to satisfy domestic demands for refined products. The refinery will export about 50 per cent of its production thereby generating foreign exchange for the country. It will lead to growth in adjacent sectors such as logistics, shipping, engineering, and servicing.

“The refinery has the requisite capacity to provide energy security both by providing a ready home for our crude and in ensuring steady availability of petroleum products for all. Nigerians will also get to partake in the financial returns once we list the Refinery on the NGX.

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“We are thus making an important contribution to this administration’s plan to grow our GDP to $1 trillion.

“Our group is at the vanguard of job creation and employment generation in Nigeria. We are the biggest employer of labour after the federal government. Dangote Cement sustains about 70,000 (direct and indirect jobs across Africa, while the refinery, petroleum chemical complex and fertiliser will be able to create over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“We have remained one of the biggest contributors to government coffers as our three subsidiaries, Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries paid a total of N788.98 billion as tax and N276 billion in VAT in three years.

“We envision in Nigeria the equivalent of Jamnagar in India where crude oil refining is the backbone of specialised industrial zones, transportation networks, and ancillary industries, contributing to the overall industrialisation of the region. Or Saudi Arabia’s Jubail Industrial City, which is also undergirded by large scale petrochemical complexes.

“The legislature has a great role to play in this. Globally, the legislature plays a great role in protecting and supporting domestic industry. I am sure that the members of the 10th National Assembly are more than equal to the task. Supporting the refinery secures the benefits. It will ensure energy security. As co-creators of value, we appreciate and acknowledge your consistent efforts in ensuring the enactment of vital laws promoting a conducive business environment in the nation,” Dangote explained.Z…READ FULL ARTICLE