The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has encouraged the Dangote Group to go back to the drawing board and hasten work on its crude oil refinery before 2019.
Kachikwu made this statement on Monday during his visit to the site of the Dangote refinery in Lagos.
Recall that, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had said the refinery would have the capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
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Dangote said the company is presently building the world’s largest single line refinery and petrochemical complex, and the world’s second largest urea fertiliser plant.
He also said the company would also be building the largest sub-sea pipeline infrastructure in the world, with a length of 1,100 kilometres, to handle three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
Dangote said the gas from the pipeline would boost and strengthen domestic gas supply, adding that an estimated 12,000 megawatts of power could be added to the grid from the gas system.
“We will be adding value to our economy as all these projects will be creating about 4,000 direct and 145,000 indirect jobs. We will also save over $7.5bn for Nigeria annually through import substitution,” he said.
Kachikwu, who commended Dangote for embarking on the project, said, “The challenge I give you as I leave here today will be one of time. I see your timing in terms of December 2019.
“But I am sure you will understand if I tell you that the refinery component should come earlier. I have made very frank commitment to Nigerians that I must exit importation of petroleum products by 2019, and I am going to keep to it. Please, continue to push the envelope and see how we can do this.”
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The minister, therefore, urged Dangote to tell his engineers to go back to the drawing board and try to make the refinery come on stream earlier than the end of 2019.
“Where do we come in as government? I think the first thing is that we must look seriously at whatever incentives this business needs. You cannot be investing $14bn in a country without sufficient incentives to drive the business,” he stated.
Earlier, the Minister at the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Lagos, Kachikwu had said the country would have to stop oil production if the cost of producing the commodity remained high.
Source: Naija News