By Nasuuna Varstine
Former Ethiopia Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn has described as exceptional and enormous the investment of the Dangote Group in Africa’s oil refining sector and urged other private sector investors to take a cue from the group’s investment drive.
Speaking during the tour of Dangote Jetty, Fertiliser and Refinery Plant, Desalegn said the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has enormous influence in the sector and that his involvement in the general economic wellbeing of the whole of Africa is unquantifiable.
He therefore encouraged other investors to consider the strategic nature of investments made by the conglomerate and emulate them in order to enhance the value of the continent’s economy: “I think this is a lesson for other African investors to take risk and bring about big change. A mega project of this magnitude, actually needs dedication and commitment, as well as sacrifice.”
He insisted that Africa needs massive investment like the Dangote Refinery for economic development.
According to him, investors in the continent must recognize that investment in essential sector would remain critical to sustainable economic growth. “I think this project is not only for Nigeria, but for the entire African countries”, he added.
Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said the project would provide 135,000 retail outlets, 26,716 filling stations and 129 depots in Nigeria, while the 2,600 trucks for transport will create additional jobs.
Another invaluable area of interest the project will enhance is in the area of skill development and capacity building for Nigerian. Already, Mr. Edwin said training of second batch of Nigerian Engineers has started in Delhi India.
He said, “we are sending all engineers abroad in batches. They will engage in classroom training for one month and on the job training of one year. They will be working with real time experts in the industry every day.”
Edwin disclosed that the company’s target is for a significant portion of Nigeria’s crude oil production to be refined domestically, rather than imported, thereby creating jobs within Nigeria, and bringing a halt to the current importation of refined petroleum product.
Edwin said the refinery is going to provide over 100,000 indirect employment through retail outlets. He said the refinery is designed to meet Euro V grade, which is the highest standard in the world, hence products can be exported to any part of the world.
“It will be well diversified and able to process Nigerian crude, African crude and crude from other parts of the world. In terms of evacuation routes, two crude oil single point mooring (SPM) buoys and three multi-product SPMs will be located within the Atlantic Ocean to transfer crude oil to a calling tanker.
Edwin said the company was also constructing the largest fertiliser plant in West Africa with the capacity to produce three million tonnes of urea per year.
Dangote Fertilizer Complex, consisting of Ammonia and Urea plants, is conceived to be one of the world’s largest fertilizer plants with a total capacity of 3 Million Tonnes per Annum of Urea fertilizer. Therefore, the Dangote Fertilizer is positioned to bridge the gap between local demand and national capacity. Dangote Fertilizer Plants will produce Urea that will assist farmers boost their crop yields through easy access to fertilizer,” he added.