President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the much-awaited Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
The refinery is expected to enable Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and even have a surplus for export.
Speaking on Monday at the occasion attended by Heads of State from Ghana, Togo, Niger, and Senegal and a representative of the President of Chad, the President described the feat as a significant milestone for Nigeria’s economy and a game changer for the downstream petroleum products market in the entire African region.
President Muhammadu Buhari arrives Lagos to commission the Dangote refinery at the Ibeju-Lekki.
The President was received by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, accompanied by the President/CEO, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. pic.twitter.com/sBjmKtM0Er
— Voice of Nigeria (@voiceofnigeria) May 22, 2023
‘‘This mega industry we are commissioning today is a clear example of what can be achieved when entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported and when an enabling environment is created for investments and for businesses to thrive.
‘‘I am confident that my successor, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will sustain the improvement in our economic and business environment and strengthen the framework of our public-private partnership policies to accelerate the pace of our economic growth and development
‘‘I am happy to leave our economy in very competent hands,’’ he said.
“Beyond today’s ceremony, our first goal is to ramp up production of the various products to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy the nation’s demand for quality products” – Aliko Dangote #DangoteRefinery #EnergyForAll #AfricaEmpowered pic.twitter.com/CickpPBs4C
— Dangote Group (@DangoteGroup) May 22, 2023
The President who commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote’s leadership in executing the 650,000 barrels per day refinery urged other entrepreneurs to emulate his example in driving economic growth and realizing Nigeria’s economic potential.
He stressed the need for African countries to come together, integrate their economies, eliminate trade barriers, and rally their populations to achieve Agenda 2063 for the continent’s prosperity.
‘‘I urge and encourage our other great entrepreneurs to emulate this iconic Nigerian industrialist and join the Government in accelerating our growth to realize our country’s globally recognized economic potential.
‘‘When I travel around Africa and meet and engage my brother Heads of State (and I am delighted some of their Excellences are here) I often sense a quiet expectation that our country is blessed with resources and human capacity to lead Africa’s rise to economic prosperity and the attainment of Agenda 2063 – ‘The Africa we all want.’
‘‘But to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, Africa must come together – we must integrate our economies, eliminate trade barriers and energize our youthful population to scale up our production capacity.
‘‘We must create necessary conditions for our private sector to grow and partner with the public sector to accelerate economic growth across the continent.
‘‘We must not allow outside powers to use some of our leaders to destabilize our economic and political trajectory,’’ he added.
President Buhari acknowledged the visionary investments made by the Dangote Group, under the leadership of Dangote, in transforming Nigeria’s economy through its involvement in critical industries such as cement and fertilizer.
He noted that investment in these sectors has played a crucial role in shifting Nigeria from heavy import dependence to a net exporter.
President Buhari acknowledged that Nigeria’s economy has faced significant challenges over the years, including deficits in economic infrastructure, insurgency, and external crises such as the Global Financial Crisis, oil price collapses, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war.
‘‘The consequence of these challenges constitutes a severe strain on our economy, limiting Government’s ability to provide basic infrastructure without resorting to huge borrowings.
‘‘Our Government, therefore, decided to focus attention on creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive and fill the enormous gap in investments not only in infrastructure but also in all critical sectors.
‘‘We recognize that without the active participation of the private sector and a strong commitment to public-private partnership, our economy would continue to remain severely challenged and our economic growth impeded.
‘‘Government, therefore, will and should continue to provide an enabling environment and encourage innovative public-private partnerships in all sectors of our economy,’’ he said.
The President emphasized the administration’s commitment to this approach, citing Executive Order 007 of 2019 which facilitated the rehabilitation/construction of many roads by private sector investors using a Tax-credit scheme.