Speaking during a visit to the Lekki free trade zone over the weekend after inspecting the site of the Dangote Refinery and Gas Stations in Lagos, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo told journalists after a tour of the multi-billion naira investment, that the projects are strategic assets for Nigeria at this time.
The vice presodent who described the project as an important one that would boost power supply tremendously, said; “This is incredible if that can be done because it would be a major strategic asset for Nigeria, it would boost our power supply tremendously,” Osinbajo said.
Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, who received the Vice President and his team alongside Femi Otedola and top state government functionaries, said that when completed in 2019, the Dangote Refinery and Gas Stations are expected to enhance power generation in Nigeria and create 235,000 employment opportunities for many youths upon completion.
Ambode said the refinery has a pipeline project that transfers crude from the Niger Delta to Lagos. “Firstly, there is a refinery project that is ongoing, second there is a petrochemical project that is also ongoing,” he said.
“There is pipeline transfer project that brings gas from Bonny down to Olokonla and down to Lekki and then the fourth one is the fertilizer project all in one location. The coming of the Vice President to inspect this project is instructive and a sign post that the Federal Government is in support of what is going on.
“The truth is this, we might not be able to show you all that is going on here but in another few weeks, we will do an aerial view of this project and also do a documentary because for the very first time we are going to have a Petrochemical project that is coming on stream by December 2017.
“A Refinery that is coming on stream by the first quarter of 2019 and also the gas project that is coming on stream by 2018. You can just imagine or visualize what that means to the economy of Lagos.”
He added that apart from the 135,000 direct jobs that will be created from the projects, another 100,000 indirect jobs would be generated while income accruable to the federal government would be in the region of over $500million in three years.
In his remarks, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said that the refinery would start production by the first quarter of year 2019, adding that the gas production project will bring uninterrupted power supply to Nigeria’s economic capital.
He stated that when completed, it would be the largest single-line refinery in the world and that the gas pipeline would be able to generate 12,000 megawatts of power.
“Lagos is one state that is very investor friendly and the governor himself has always been asking what are the issues and he normally put in place steps to resolve those issues immediately.
“Our target is that in the next five years or so from now, we hope and we believe that half of Nigeria’s crude will be refined and exported rather than just exporting crude to go and create jobs elsewhere,” Dangote said.
According to Dangote, the gas project upon completion has the capacity to produce about three billion cubic feet of gas daily, which would permanently address the two billion cubic feet daily gas required to power the country.