MINISTER of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said Dangote Petroleum Refinery will save the nation $11 billion.
The money would have been used for importation of petroleum products.
The minister noted that the refinery will also encourage other investors to better understand the need to invest in the economy.
Mrs Ahmed spoke on Sunday in Lagos during a tour of the refinery.
The minister said the investment would be an engine to the economy with thousands of specialisations created and deployed into the economy.
She said: “The potentials are endless and the foresight amazing. No doubt, once it is commissioned, lots of jobs will be created, including entrepreneurs.
“As a government, we will leverage on the strength of the private sector to grow the economy. It is heart-warming to note that in no distant time we will transit to an exporting country, saving huge foreign exchange in this refinery in the excess of $11 billion.”
The minister pledged government’s readiness to support the refinery to succeed, just like other companies in the oil and gas sector.
Mrs Ahmed hailed the group for its enhanced Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) in vital areas, such as hospitals, schools, scholarships, overseas and local trainings.
She stressed that it is the only way to protect the huge investment as the group’s host community will own the projects and provide a safe environment for them to operate.
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said though the companies initially faced setbacks in price variation and the general poor infrastructure in the country, they remained determined to succeed and deliver the nation from continued importation.
The foremost industrialist said Dangote Group would not only save the nation $11 billion in yearly foreign exchange but would also move from a $4 billion revenue company to $30 billion yearly revenue.
He also said the group would be positioned for more investments in other sectors of the economy to make the nation self-sufficient in skills, competencies and products.
Dangote said: “We will look at other sectors of the economy, apart from agriculture, where we have excelled in creating value. Our desire is to transform Nigeria into an export-based economy. In the next two years, we have a projection to export cement in excess of $500 million annually. We are also looking at venturing into the construction sector as we have invested a lot in that sector to build the complex.”
Dangote Group’s Executive Director, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Edwin Devakumar said the refinery is flexible and set to produce Euro V products quality, including crude from other African countries, Middle East and the United States light oil.