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Dangote Refinery: In Need Of Patriotism

Dangote Refinery: In Need Of Patriotism

Dangote Refinery: In Need Of Patriotism

By Tahir I Tahir Talban Bauchi

A lot of people thought Aliko Dangote was crazy, venturing into the development of a refinery, the biggest in Africa, and the largest single chain refinery in the world. He himself admits it was crazy, and if he had known what he was going into, he wouldn’t have dared to venture into it. He admitted that he grew all of his grey hair during the project.

The energy minister of Saudi Arabia advised him against such a huge project, as it is mostly done by oil corporations, or oil rich countries themselves. For the Dangote refinery the challenges were humongous.

From the excavation of the marshy land, to the contracting of the 4 largest dredging companies in the world, to sand filling and sand compaction of the most of about 2,685 hectares of land: the project kept growing in size, and the demands of what needed to be done to get the construction started kept on multiplying. Some equipments that were purchased weighed more than 3000 tonnes each, and it dawned on Dangote that Nigerian ports do not have the capacity to take delivery
of such. Dangote had to build a special port for that purpose.

Another special road had to be constructed so that the equipments could be transported from the port to the site. Another 125kms of pipelines had to be constructed for the delivery/ discharge of crude to the refinery. A quarry capable of supplying 800,000 tonnes of gravel per month was also built, to feed the supply of the construction.

Engineering, procurement and construction, all had to be done by Dangote at the same time for the project. It has never been done in the world before. Dangote also had to build a power generation plant with a capacity of 1500MW for the refinery.

The reality of a refinery in Nigeria with such a huge capacity is indeed revolutionary. Out of the 54 countries in Africa, only two, Algeria and Libya, run their own refineries and do not import petroleum products.

The path to the Industrialisation of Africa has been mirred by neo-colonial politics that has subdued Africa, keeping it as a fertile raw material ground and that only.

Nigeria has not lacked the technical partnership or financial capacity to build or maintain a refinery, but yet this very essential industry has eluded a crude oil rich nation like ours. Government owned refineries were deliberately sabotaged and run aground. Till date, the ones that have been refurbished have no date of production in sight. Local mafia in collaboration with international oil rackets, have ensured that we are enslaved into buying their refined products from all over the world, but never from Nigeria.

At the 31st Afrexim annual meeting, at which Aliko Dangote was one of the special guests, he remarked that, “The cabal in the oil industry are bigger and stronger than those in the drugs industry”.

Now the entry of the Dangote refinery into the diesel market has succeeded in crashing the price of diesel by 60%, from N1,700 or more, to about N1,000, and eventually N1,200. The petrol part of production of the Dangote refinery however, has been postponed one too many times. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

It is nothing more than the cabals fighting back. International Oil Companies, IOCs, are denying the Dangote refinery the much needed crude for its operations, or inflating crude prices, forcing the refinery to import from as far away as US.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, has had to meet with IOCs, to remind them of their domestic crude supply obligations as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act. Obviously, the IOCs and their partners around the world not only need the very highly qualitative Nigerian crude, but also the Nigerian petroleum importation market. If the Dangote refinery takes off on the supply of petrol, it will do two things: crash the cost of petrol locally, and 2. crash the markets of refining companies that export petrol to Nigeria.

If Dangote refinery buys crude from the US, the transportation component will not allow them to sell at a much cheaper price than those other foreign refineries who also have to pay transportation costs to deliver to Nigeria. So denying Dangote refinery local crude, is also denying Nigerians cheaper petrol.

Today, unconfirmed reports say that foreign suppliers of petrol have stopped their incoming supplies due to a backlog of about 6 billion naira in payments. Fuel queues are building up yet again. Fuel queues are back for the second time in just 3 months. With a functional local refinery, we wouldn’t be running into fuel scarcity issues for starters.

Dangote refinery is upscaling its storage capacity to serve as a national strategic petrol reserve for the country. So issues of fuel scarcity are soon to be a thing of the past. The excesses we are made to pay in energy costs especially on petrol, goes to the ever hungry and deep bellies of the oil cabals and racketeers.

They will never stop and they will never be fed enough. The government really needs to protect the Dangote refinery as if it owned it, afterall it has a stake in it. Come to think of what much lower petrol prices could mean to the Nigerian people.

NNPC and its subsidiaries need to be patriotic for real. They should put on their patriotic attires and their thinking caps!

They should also sing the new Anthem if they are in need of patriotic inspiration. The Senate President strongly advises this.

Dangote Refinery: In Need Of Patriotism

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