Nigeria and other African countries would soon heave a sigh of relief from the sloppy economic situation occasioned by price instability with the imminent completion of the Dangote Refinery and other modular refineries in Nigeria.
Nigeria is certain that when the refinery begins operation, the country as well as Ghana, and many other African countries will benefit greatly from the establishment.
Africa's economic growth in 2018 will continue in 2019 in sub-Saharan Africa, averaging 3.6 per cent over the next two years, according to World Bank estimates.
This is reflected in the findings of the 2018 study conducted by the World Bank. The institution forecasts economic growth of 3.6 per cent over the next two years.
The oil distributors in Ghana and other African countries have pledge patronage of oil importation from the Dangote refinery and arrangement has been made to ease the process.
Similarly, the Ghanaian government believed that it would be more profitable for African countries to import petroleum products from Dangote Refinery instead of depending on international supplies which are more expensive and often influenced by factors such as forex.
The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, during a forum in Egypt disclosed that Ghana is optimistic about the outcome, and the country has projected a desirable outcome after the completion of the facility in Nigeria.
While discussing the Dangote refinery impact on African economy, he said the facility will bring relief to countries in the continent, which are suffering from sloppy economic situations caused by price instability.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote also disclosed that Dangote Petroleum Refinery will create $11 billion per annum market for Nigerian crude. According to Dangote, upon completion, the Dangote Refinery will meet 100 per cent daily Nigerian consumption of all refined products and would also have the surplus for export. The refinery will also boost job creation in Nigeria.
Technical adviser to the president of Dangote Group on Refinery and Petrochemicals, Engr. Babajide Soyode has said that the completion of Dangote Refinery and other modular refinery projects in Nigeria would culminate in the integration of the downstream industries, lower cost of business and stabilise the prices of petroleum products across the African sub-region.
He made this assertion during a panel session on 'Refining, Transportation and Petrochemicals Forum', at the just concluded 2019 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja. He thus emphasised the need for the federal government to fully deregulate the downstream sector.
According to him, by the time Dangote completes the largest single train refinery, in addition to what other investors are doing, Nigeria will have more than enough petrol for domestic use and for export.
He therefore stressed the need for government to allow private sector run the downstream industry. "First of all, the refinery will save Nigeria from importation of refined products, which will help to boost the value of the naira," he added.
Soyode said there is no need for the federal government to continue to subside petrol. According to him, government should remove subsidy and allow private sector to manage the downstream sector. Regulation is not going to stay forever. Regulation of petroleum products has been in existence in the last 32 years. What have we gained from it? Do you know any single poor man whose life has been improved through this policy?
"I think people should demand that subsidy be removed and the downstream sector should be deregulated. Nigerians are dynamic. We don't need government's regulation with respect to the price of petrol. What are they regulating? There is no country that has ever succeeded in regulating commodity product."
He emphasised the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to rehabilitate the nation's refineries and bring them to full capacity utilization.
Soyode said, "Dangote's construction of 650,000 bpd refinery is not new to Nigeria. Although, Dangote is presently constructing the biggest refinery in the world, Nigeria has been a big player in petroleum refining. NNPC refineries are gold mines and they are sited in the best market in Nigeria. Why can't NNPC reactivate and upgrade its refineries? NNPC has some of the best manpower in the world. Regulation is not going to stay forever."
Speaking also at the panel session, chief executive OVH Energy Marketing, Huub Stokman, commended the federal government for its efforts in tackling the accumulated petroleum subsidy debt to oil marketers.
Dwelling on the need for the federal government to deregulate the downstream industry, Stokman insisted that Nigeria cannot continue to import petroleum products, saying that, "modular refinery is going to play a major role in Nigeria's for self-sufficiency."
Chairman, Integrated Oil & Gas Limited, Emmanuel Iheanacho said there is need for the country to address the imbalance where Nigeria exports its crude oil without value addition.
Iheanacho added that only full deregulation can bring the much needed investment to the sector, saying that "we need a programme that will allow us refine our product locally."
He posited that full liberalisation and deregulation of Nigeria's downstream oil sector will remove all the hindrances and bottlenecks that have been discouraging improvement of private investment and market competition.
Recently, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, during a visit to the ongoing Dangote Refinery, said that the projects on completion would also be expected to produce 883 KPTA polypropylene plant, three million tons per annum Urea plant and 1,100 kilometres sub-sea pipeline infrastructure.
He said it would transform the Nigerian economy from a net importer of refined petroleum products to a net- exporter of petroleum products.
The Dangote Refinery is an oil refinery owned by the Dangote Group that is near completion in Lekki, Nigeria. When completed, it will have a capacity to process about 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil.