In order to add value to crude oil, reduce high dependence on imported petroleum products and conserve foreign exchange for other developmental projects, the government has adopted the U.S.$11 billion Dangote refinery, under its new National Petroleum Policy.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, will today, lead a strong government delegation to inspect the progress of work at the 650,000 plant expected to come on stream in 2019.
Investigations showed that the visit would enable the government know the status of the project, understand problems as well as assist to eliminate hurdles that could delay or scuttle the completion and operation of the plant.
It showed that various segments of the project have either been completed or ongoing at the Lagos-based site.
Mr Babajide Soyode, Technical Consultant to the President/CEO on Refinery & Petrochemical Projects, Dangote Industries Limited disclosed that the project was progressing according to plan, adding that the sand filling had been completed while piling was ongoing at site. Soyode disclosed that the ongoing construction of jetty would need to be completed to enhance operations of the plant.
The new policy which was made available to Vanguard, the government indicated that the previous petroleum policy encouraged rent seeking through a crude oil export for cash business. It is the only OPEC country without effective oil refining capacity.
It stated that Nigerian production has not risen in line with its potential or peers in the Middle East or Africa.
The policy also disclosed that the petroleum sector has been dominated by state ownership and dominant market power in the upstream and mid-stream, thus constraining increased involvement of the private sector.