The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Tuesday commended Dangote Group for its plans to invest 14 billion dollars (N2.8 trillion) in oil refinery and petrochemical complex.
Mr Mike Osatuyi, the National Operations Controller of IPMAN, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Osatuyi appealed to the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to fast-track the needed support for the refinery to get the required foreign exchange.
He said that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery would attract more than six billion dollars in foreign exchange earnings yearly into the country.
He said that the refinery would also create 20,000 job opportunities for Nigerian youths.
Osatuyi said that the petrochemical plant and fertiliser complex were expected to begin production in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
He said that the investment would help to end the perennial scarcity of petroleum products and halt the current massive importation of refined products.
“The refinery and petrochemical plant will add value to the oil and gas industry which is currently experiencing a lull and save the scarce foreign exchange used to import fuel.
“ The Dangote refinery will turn the tide as it will become a major foreign exchange earner through exportation of refined products.
“IPMAN believes that the refinery, when it finally debuts in 2018, will stem the scarcity of products in the country.
“We, therefore, call on other investors and the multinational oil companies to take a cue from the initiative of Dangote Group.
“Specifically, those companies that were granted licence to establish refineries about six years ago and have not made any move should start to do something now,’’ Osatuyi advised.
The IPMAN operations controller also urged government to speed up development of the Lekki Free Trade Zone to attract investors.
He advised Federal Government to also revive tanker haulage by the Nigeria Railway Corporation.
Osatuyi advised the government to improve the power supply situation in the country so that local refineries would not depend on generators to refine products.
NAN reports that Dangote Refinery is designed to independently generate 500 megawatts of electricity to power its operations.