Africa’s richest man and owner of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has said that ongoing $17 billion Gas pipeline, fertilizer, petrochemicals and refineries project at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), Lagos, would provide unhindered availability of petrol in the country. He pointed out the the Gas pipeline when completed would also generate power for the country.
Dangote, who took the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN, and a host of dignitaries round the facility, added that the Gas pipeline would increase revenues to government, increase demand for domestic crude Petroleum of petrochemicals and foreign exchange from exports. He asserted that the Gas pipeline site is the largest industrial site in the world and there is an extremely good relationship with the community. “This Gas pipeline sight is eight times the size of Victoria Island. It was designed to process a large variety of crudes, including all the African crudes, a range of Middle Eastern crudes and US crudes.
The refinery has flexibility to convert kerosene to jet/diesel,” he added. Dangote noted that his business policy is not solely for profit making but to make Nigerians happy, saying “I am a proud Nigerian. I do not own even a 9inch block outside Nigeria. When I travel, I stay in a hotel”. He stated that for instance, “Dangote cement, if we take it to Ghana, we will make N500 on each bag, but we didn’t do that. We (Dangote Group) are attacking the economy with a policy of no more import, which will create jobs. We are suffering today because we have not diversify the economy of Nigeria.” Expressing satisfaction over the ongoing Gas pipeline, Vice President Osinbajo, said the project will supply three billion cubic feet of gas daily and had the potential of solving the problem of electricity shortage which had plagued the nation for decades.
According to him, the investment as a whole was an incredible industrial project being the largest and the most ambitious in Africa and possibly the entire world. Addressing journalists after a two-hour presentation on the entire project, Osinbajo described the Gas pipeline as a major asset for the country, if it can be done. “For me, that is the most important project that could be done in this country. It will be a major boost for industrial development,” he stated. Osinbajo explained that the sub-sea installation, estimated at N500 billion, would go all the way from Bonny in Rivers State through Ogedegbe, Olokola to Lekki and Escravos Lagos pipeline and then West Africa Gas Pipeline.
Talking about securing the refinery, Osinbajo said the pipeline the was installed under the sea. “It is a subsea project. It is fortified and goes into the sea. It is not what anybody can go there and vandalise with the way it is designed. It is designed to prevent vandalisation. It is designed very deep into the sea,” the vice president maintained. Osinbajo opined that at the completion of the Gas pipeline, it is meant to refine 650,000 barrels per day. He said, “By all projection, it is the largest in the world. It has a petro-chemical plant. It also has fertilizer plant, which is projected to be the largest in the world. “The refinery will take off in the first quarter of 2019. I think the sub-sea gas pipeline, which is very important project, is meant to take off in 2018. “The gas pipeline project there. It is an incredible industrial undertaking. It is possibly the largest and the most ambitious on the continent today. It is truly inspiring”
Dignitaries that accompanied Osinbajo to the refinery site are the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Works, Power & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN); Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and former Ekiti State Governor, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo among others.