Dangote’s new $17 billion refinery project is expected to create about 300,000 direct and indirect jobs by the first quarter of 2019.
The Chief Operating Officer, Olakunle Alake, disclosed this last week, saying the project would be the single largest stream in the world.
According to him, “the refinery and fertiliser projects will create job opportunities for the communities and Nigerians when they become operational. “The refinery will have a refining capacity of about 650,000 barrels of crude a day.”
Alake said the project would force down the price of petrol in the country and save money spent on importation.
While explaining that projects such as these would optimise government revenue and wean Nigeria from relying solely on crude oil export, he said that the best way to diversify Nigeria’s economy is through agriculture, which informed the setting up of the fertiliser plant alongside the refinery.
Alake said that the 98 per cent of basic engineering on the fertiliser plant had been executed, while the construction had progressed by 30 percent. “By the time we finish our gas pipeline it will be able to generate about 12,000mw which can be exported to other African countries.
“We will have the capacity to store four billion litres of products and load 2,680 trucks per day. The project will aid the country with about 7.5 billion dollars foreign exchange savings on importation.
“It will also generate five billion dollars foreign exchange earnings from savings and another 5.5 billion dollars export earnings,” he said.
Alake, who gave assurance that there would be market for the refined products, said that only three countries in Africa had effective and functional refineries, while others imported.
According to him, “By the time we complete this project, there will be opportunity to take on agriculture and say bye to poverty because there will be jobs; no sector has more job potential than agriculture.
“Though the project is an ambitious one but when completed it will give Nigeria a new economic direction in its quest for economic diversification.”
“We aim to complete the projects within the time frame to assist in easing the foreign exchange problem in the country now.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to support these private initiatives by providing funding for the projects.
“However, government through the Bank of Industry schemes has given us a credit facility of N50 billion to develop the fertiliser plant. We have also gotten another N75 billion approval for the refinery, which we have not yet accessed.”