Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has described as “exciting” the decision of the Dangote Group to site its petroleum, fertilizer and petrochemical company in Lagos. The governor said the decision is to the advantage of the state and will lead to real growth and development in the Lekki area and the state in particular.

In a chat with select newsmen recently, Sanwo-Olu said Aliko Dangote is a rare breed that has done so much towards youth employment and economic development of the country.

On Dangote’s refinery project, the governor said: “We are happy with this investment. It is an investment that is real and it is also an investment that has come to stay. In fact, this is the largest single construction site anywhere in the world… We are truly excited. The question is, how do we key into this project?… Part of the things we will be doing here is a comprehensive new infrastructure that will be coming to this corridor. We are closing up on two different roads connection out of this place that one will go straight to Epe and another one will go towards Ijebu-Ode and another one will go right back into Lagos.

This is necessary because we realise that once this project is finished, they will need to either transport them on the road, or by the shoreline, which is also why, just across here is where we have the Lekki deep sea port. So, all these are comprehensively coming together, because we know that infrastructure has to come around all these conversations and …the road has bridges, it has all sorts of connections that will be able to take the products and also be able to open up this place comprehensively where people can also come and work, live and it will be a full ecosystem that we are building up all around here.”

Dangote refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It is expected to be the Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility, upon completion.

The Dangote refinery will process a variety of light and medium grades of crude to produce Euro-V quality clean fuels including gasoline and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene. The integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) also recently described the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals as a pride to Nigeria and Africa. The NGF said the project would contribute immensely to Africa’s economy and help the continent attain food security when fully operational. 

Mr Kayode Fayemi, NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti, made the assertion on Friday when he led some state governors on a visit to the sites of the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertilizer projects at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos.

The NGF members who visited the sites included Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Godwin Obaseki, Edo; Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and Simon Lalong, Plateau. READ ALSO: Dangote refinery will save Nigeria of $10bn – Minister Others were Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia; Bala Mohammed, Bauchi; Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, Kwara; Babagana Zulum, Borno; Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna and Ivara Esu, Deputy Governor of Cross River.

He said: “This is an inspirational initiative by the President of the Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote. “ It demonstrates the possibility where government provides the enabling environment the way the Lagos State government has done for individuals that are serious-minded and has what it takes to excel. “This an individual that has put together a $12 billion project that we have toured almost throughout the day and had to cut it short to be able to attend to other businesses.

“This is a pride to Africa and not just to Nigeria. I don’t know anywhere in Africa you will find a complex such as this. “I don’t think that there are many places in the world where you will find a complex as comprehensive and extensive as the one we have been privileged to tour. “We are all looking forward to the products that will come out from this place. The plastics, the oil from the refinery and the fertilizers for our agriculture.”

He said state governments’ investment in agriculture would be given a boost by the fertiliser plant which is the largest in Africa. The NGF chairman urged governments to continue to create an enabling environment through right incentives and policies as well as provision of infrastructure needed to attract investors to their states.

Also, Sanwo-Olu commended Dangote for taking the decision to put the strategic investment in Lagos, adding that the government would continue to do its best to support the smooth completion of the project. He said: “This project is sited close to the Lekki Free Trade Zone and Lekki Deep Sea Port and we are bringing development to our people. READ ALSO: N37bn for NASS renovation? Our refineries, Ajaokuta steel not renovated, Nigerians lament “Part of the things we are doing here is to bring a comprehensive new infrastructure to the communities.

“We are closing up on two different road connections out of this place. One will go to Epe, and another one will go to Ijebu Ode and back to Lagos.” The Lagos State governor added that the plan of the government was to open up the place so that people could come and work, live and contribute to the economy. On his part, Dangote thanked the governors for the visit to the facilities and assured them that the group would continue to invest in Nigeria to create jobs and make all Nigerians proud.

“We will continue to make sure that we are the ones that will lead and others will follow. We want to bring all our monies to Nigeria and invest where we belong to,” he said. Dangote, however, urged the governors to focus on the areas of health, education and capital development, adding that these sectors should be part of their key responsibilities to their people.

Mr Devakumar Edwin, Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Group, said all the states would benefit from the three million Metric Tonnes Per Annum fertilizer plant because it would improve the agricultural sector. Edwin noted that the 650,000-barrels-per-day refinery could meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid petroleum products and would have surplus for export. “The refinery project will create 1,600 permanent jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs. It will save Nigeria over $7.5 billion annually through import substitution,” he said.