President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has described the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant projects as a “game-changing initiative” that will spur development and deepen regional integration.
Adesina said this after a tour of the crude oil refinery and petrochemical production plant owned by Dangote Industries Limited on Saturday.
“I was very impressed with Dangote’s refinery and petrochemical industrial zone. A $16 billion investment. The largest single-train refinery in the world. It shows Africa’s power to industrialise. A game-changer for Nigeria & Africa. Well done @AlikoDangote! I am proud of you,” he said.
The AfDB boss who is also Nigeria’s ex-Minister of Agriculture lauded the employment created by Dangote through the refinery.
I was very impressed with Dangote’s refinery and petrochemical industrial zone. A $16 billion investment. The largest single train refinery in the world. It shows Africa’s power to industrialise. A game changer for Nigeria & Africa. Well done @AlikoDangote! I am proud of you. pic.twitter.com/jJMALqxqNf
“Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Industrial Zone employ 38,000 people: 11,000 expatriates and 27,000 Nigerians. The impact of industrialization is massive. It delivers quality jobs for the youth. Let’s do more to drive industrialization in Africa!,” he added.
He described Dangote as “an inspirational and visionary business leader. For anybody to have done what I have seen here, I think that person deserves world-class kudos for that… I see a company that I will proudly call Africa’s growth accelerator company.”
Adesina said AfDB would continue to work with the Dangote Group to do more for Africa. He said the bank’s industrialisation strategy included identifying and backing “African regional champions” like the Dangote Group.
He added that the African Bank was willing to assist the Dangote Group in such areas as agriculture including rice and dairy products as well as cement expansion into other countries.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday explained why the national oil company is purchasing a stake in Dangote oil refinery.
The refinery is expected to begin production in 2022 with an installed 650,000 barrels per day capacity.
It has been touted as a groundbreaking project for energy security in the country and for the African continent.
In May, the NNPC announced that it plans to acquire a 20 percent equity stake in the private company led by billionaire Aliko Dangote.
“There is no resource-dependent country that will watch a business of this scale, which borders on energy security and has implications for fiscal security of the country, and you don’t have a say,” Mr Kyari said on Tuesday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He argued that the decision was also driven by the profit potential of the refinery business.
“For the Dangote refinery, we are not taking government money to buy it, which is the mistake that people are making,” he said. “We are borrowing on the back of the cash-flow of this business.
“We know that this business is viable, it will work and it will return dividends. It has a cash-flow that is sustainable because refinery business, in the short term, will continue to be sustainable.
“That’s why banks have come forward to lend to us, so we can take equity in this.”
What Mr Kyari Said
“Dangote refinery will come into production by 2022. And what that will do is to deliver over 50 million litres of gasoline into, to be specific, our markets. We are also working on our refineries, to ensure that we fix them. We have awarded the contract for Port Harcourt refinery rehabilitation. And ultimately we are going to close that of Warri and Kaduna very soon in July, so that all of them will work contemporaneously. The net effect is that you are going to have an environment where Nigeria becomes the hub of petroleum products and supply. It’s going to change the dynamics of petroleum supply globally in the sense that the flow is coming from Europe today and it is going to be reversed to some other direction. We will be the supplier for West Africa legitimately and also many other parts of the world.
“So the meaning of this is, there is an opportunity that has been thrown at us. And I’m not sure Mr Dangote wants to sell his equity in the refinery. I can confirm that it was at our instance that we started this engagement. He did not want to sell his shares in this refinery.
“There is no resource-dependent country that will watch a business of this scale, which has bordering on energy security and has implications for fiscal security of the country, and you don’t have a say. And for us, as a strategy, we started this process long before Dangote started his refinery project. We take equity in very significant businesses that are anchored on the oil and gas operations: fertiliser, methanol plants, modular refineries and some other businesses that we are dealing with.
“It is to expand our portfolio and also because we are the national oil company, we have the responsibility to guarantee energy security for our country. And there is no way you can have a say, except you have a seat on the board of these institutions. And that’s why anyone that is going to construct a refinery that is in the excess of 50,000 barrels per day, we will talk to them, take equity in it, as long as we have the money to pay for it.
“For the Dangote refinery, we are not taking government money to buy it, which is the mistake that people are making. We are borrowing on the back of the cash-flow of this business. We know that this business is viable, it will work and it will return dividends. It has a cash-flow that is sustainable because refinery business, in the short term, will continue to be sustainable. That’s why banks have come forward to lend to us, so we can take equity in this.
“We are very proud that we did this. This is good for our shareholders, which includes all 200 Nigerians who will also be happily buying shares from this company if they had the opportunity. But now we have done on their behalf, so that ultimately the value will come to all of us.
“But there is no way you can watch a business of this magnitude, of this sensitivity, to run without the involvement of the national oil company. No country does this.”
Mr Kyari also suggested that the inability to find an appropriate price for petrol has forced the continuation of the subsidy scheme.
The NNPC is currently the sole, official importer of petroleum products into the country.
While its landing price is about N256 per litre, according to Mr Kyari, petrol sells for N162 to N165 in most parts of Lagos.
In March 2020, the Federal Government said it would allow market forces to dictate the pump price of petrol.
But after oil prices rose in the preceding months, the Federal Government decided not to adjust the price correspondingly under pressure from organised labour.
“The reality is that we cannot afford it,” Mr Kyari said.
“But also the second reality is if you don’t do something smart, you could end up throwing prices at Nigerians that are well above prices that they should pay for.”
The NNPC chief said the government is still engaging with organised labour and other stakeholders on how to properly price the product.
“The engagement is aimed at making sure there is a reasonable level of pricing that we can do that will recover the cost,” he said.
Meanwhile, a huge chunk of the petroleum the NNPC pays for is being smuggled to neighbouring countries where they are sold at higher prices.
“Petroleum consumption in Nigeria is not up to 60 million litres per day, but we supply up to that,” Mr Kyari said.
“We always plan with 60 million litres, because anytime we do below that, there is a crisis.”
He acknowledged that there “are sharp practices which we are trying to control” and “an organised cross-border smuggling of petroleum, which is associated with the price of petroleum itself.”
The smuggling, he noted, is exacerbated by the fact that Nigeria shares borders with countries who have no choice but to transport petroleum by road.
When borders were shut last year, the NNPC chief said, consumption fell to 52 to 53 million litres per day.
And during the thick of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, the number fell to about 42 million litres.
“If everything works well and consumption is limited to our country, we are dealing with about 42 million litres,” Mr Kyari said.
We are leading with the continued search for schoolgirls abducted in Zamfara State, the imminent arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, and the importance of the soon-to-be-launched Dangote Refinery to the Nigerian economy.
Search for Jangebe Girls Continues
On Saturday, the students and staff abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kagara in Niger State regained their freedom. A heartwarming development. But over 300 schoolgirls taken in a Junior Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State are still missing,
Zamfara is one of the states negotiating peace treaties with bandits and despite the kidnapping, which took place on Friday, Governor Matawalle has vowed such diplomatic efforts will continue.
Ali Ndume: The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army said blanket amnesty is not the solution to ending insecurity as it could lead to new forms of criminality.
Dig deeper: From Chibok to Dapchi to Jangebe, school kidnappings have become a major feature of terrorism in Nigeria.
Nigeria Set for COVID-19 Vaccines
About 3.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to leave India today and arrive in Nigeria by Tuesday, more than a year after the country recorded its first coronavirus infection.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this on Saturday.
The vaccines are courtesy COVAX, a global scheme backed by the World Health Organisation to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines across the world.
But there might still be delays. This isn’t the first time government officials have declared a date on which the vaccines might arrive.
“I can assure you that the vaccines are coming and they are coming very quickly barring any change in the delivery plan that has been released to us by UNICEF,” Mustapha said.
NCDC: On Sunday, Nigeria reported 240 new cases of the virus and two deaths, according to the disease control agency.
Dangote’s Refinery nears Completion
Despite being one of the world’s largest producers of crude, Nigeria has lacked adequate refining capacity for decades. Most of the country’s refined petroleum products are imported, drawing on scarce foreign exchange resources.
But this is about to change with the near-completion of the Dangote Oil Refinery, a 650,000 barrels per day integrated refinery project on the outskirts of Lagos.
Chaperoned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, the refinery is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility. Its pipeline infrastructure is the largest in the world and it is sustained by a 400MW power plant.
But the main allure for Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, who joined other high-powered executives to inspect the facility recently, is how the facility will help to conserve foreign exchange and strengthen the local economy
What else is happening?
Femi Falana: The senior lawyer has criticized the arrest of a former aide to Kano State Governor, Salisu Tanko Yakassai.
Wole Soyinka: The Nobel laureate suggested that States should consider shutting down their activities in protest when the next school abduction takes place.
Kaduna State: At least seven people were killed in separate bandit attacks across two local governments of the state.
Femi Fani-Kayode: The former aviation minister has warned that the current state of insecurity could lead to a civil war if not properly addressed.
Niger State: The government said it not sure when the boarding schools that were shut down over insecurity will reopen.
Chadwick Boseman: Six months after his death at the age of 43, the Black Panther actor won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama for his poignant role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Donald Trump: The ousted President said he is considering running for another term in 2024.
And that’s it for this morning. See you tomorrow for more updates.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has said that with the five refinery plants under construction across the country and seven others, Nigeria will be a net exporter of petroleum products in the next two years.
The Director and Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Sarki Auwalu disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Auwalu stated that the flow of imports will be reversed when the new refineries come on stream in the next two years.
He added that the feat would be achieved through the combined capacity of 375,000 barrels per day from 27 modular refineries, 650,000 barrels from the Dangote refinery, and the 450,000 barrels from the government refineries.
Specifically, he said the Dangote integrated refinery and petrochemical project with 650,000 barrels per day, the biggest in Africa, the Waltersmith refinery with 7,000 capacity per day, and others that were almost near completion would come on stream.
The existing five included the four plants owned by the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the one owned and operated by Niger Delta Petroleum Resources.
Auwalu said that the aspiration of DPR was to grow the oil reserve to 40 billion barrels and gas to 210 trillion cubic feet.
He added that the department would also grow oil production from its current 2.4 million capacity to three million production capacity and as well reduced cost of production.
“Currently, we have oil prospective license about 61, more than 2, 000 wells that are producing crude oil and condensate, we have about 125 wells producing gas.
“We equally have 20 floating, loading, and offloading vessels. 28 oil terminals, several float stations, and oil and gas processing factories,” he said.
The director said that none of the functional oil facilities stopped work because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country maintained production and export.
Sixty trees have been planted in commemoration of the 60th birthday of the business mogul and President of Dangote group, Mr Aliko Dangote.
The tree planting, done at the 16 billion dollar Dangote refinery, was also aimed at combating global warming and climate change.
It was also carried out to create awareness for individuals to adopt the vision.
Present at the event, and sharing their goodwill messages, were executive directors of the company, the United Nations, members of some mass A-forestation agencies, as well as daughters of Mr Dangote, Miss Fatima Dangote and Mrs Maria Dangote Dantata who represented him.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has pledged the Apex Bank’s support for the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in Lagos.
The CBN Chief, who paid a visit to the construction site for the 14 billion dollar project on Monday, said that such support would come through the provision of Forex.
He went on to laud the visionary leadership of Aliko Dangote for a project, which is aimed at making Nigeria an exporter of fertilizer and finished petroleum products.
“Indeed, people talk about allocating Forex to Dangote Refinery and I must say that we need to support companies like this.
“When he contemplated this project, he came with a bill of about four billion Dollars for the importation of the equipment before I got to CBN and the CBN said that, we want you to commit to the importation of the equipment and we will stagger repayment and support you by providing foreign exchange for this and that is what we are doing.
“That is the kind of support we can give to people like this, who are contemplating moving Nigeria from an importer of all these products to an exporter,” the Central Bank’s boss stressed.
In his speech, the CEO of Dangote Refinery said that the company, as at January 11, could serve all the West African markets.
“We are also filling up the gas, which is right there in the ground because we are doing a gas pipeline through the sea – 550km each two lines which is about 1,100 from Borno to Lagos and that will give three billion cubic feet of gas.
“At the moment, the entire consumption of gas in Nigeria is about one billion. So, we are going to triple that, all at a stretch,” he said.