By Olajide Fabamise
The Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Olakunle Alake, has disclosed that the Dangote Industries Group’s 17 billion-dollar refinery project will create over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs by the first quarter of 2019.
Alake made the disclosure in an interview with the jourbalists in Lagos, recently, adding that the refinery, petrochemicals and fertiliser plants were in one location.
He said the project would be the single largest stream in the world. “The refinery and fertiliser projects will create job opportunities for the communities and Nigerians when it becomes operational. It will have a refining capacity of about 650,000 barrels of crude a day,’’ he said. Alake also said the project would force down the price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in the country and save money spent on importation. He added that projects such as these would optimise government revenue and wean Nigeria from relying solely on oil. According to him, the best way to diversify Nigeria’s economy is through agriculture and the fertiliser plant is in line with that goal. The chief operating officer said the 98 per cent of basic engineering on the fertiliser plant had been executed, while the construction had progressed by 30 per cent.
“By the time we finish our gas pipeline, it will be able to generate about 12,000 mega watt 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 forex savings on importation.
“It will also generate five billion dollars forex earnings from savings and another 5.5 billion dollars export earnings,’’ he said. Alake gave assurance that there would be markets for the refined products, saying that only three countries in Africa had effective and functional refineries, while others imported. Alake said the projects would help the country save five billion dollars on oil importation when it became operational in 2019.
“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.
Alake however said that access to foreign exchange posed serious challenges to the projects. “We aim to complete the projects within the time frame to assist in easing the forex problem. 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,’’ Alake said