President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has officially commissioned the $19 billion single-train oil refinery, which is touted as the world’s largest of its kind. Built by billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, the refinery aims to position Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, as an exporter of refined fuels and eliminate fuel shortages while generating significant employment opportunities.
Spread across an area equivalent to about 130 football fields, the Dangote Industries refinery boasts a single crude distillation unit, distinguishing it as a pioneering venture. Situated in Lagos State’s Lekki area, along the Atlantic Ocean, the refinery is projected to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day. However, it is anticipated that the facility will reach its full operational capacity by 2024.
Dangote Industries stated, “At full capacity, it can meet 100% of Nigeria’s refined product requirements and have surplus for export.” While the government holds a 20% stake in the refinery, it is expected to significantly contribute to Nigeria’s energy independence and bolster its economic growth.
President Buhari’s participation in the inauguration ceremony marks one of his final official duties as he prepares to step down from the presidency next week after completing two terms in office. His successor, Bola Tinubu, emerged as the winner of the disputed presidential elections held in February.
Although today’s event carries political significance, oil and gas consultant Henry Adigun emphasized that there is still considerable work to be done in terms of obtaining permits and licenses. He cautioned that the refinery is not yet at a stage where Nigerians can fully reap its benefits, underscoring the ongoing efforts required for its successful operation.
As Nigeria ushers in a new era with the commissioning of this monumental refinery, the country is poised for an energy transformation that holds promise for both its domestic needs and its global standing in the oil industry.