The news of Dangote launching a refinery in Lagos brought hope to Nigerians, as it would increase fuel production in the country, and invariably reduce the price of fuel. However, the business mogul plans to sell his product at same price with the international market. Mr. Mansur Ahmed, the Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, has stated that Nigeria would be transformed from a fuel importing country to an exporting one by the time Dangote’s new refinery births.
“That plant itself is the largest single refinery plant anywhere in the world. In addition to the refinery, we are also going to produce some petrochemical products from the same complex. These are polyethylene and polypropylene,” Ahmed said according to Punch.
He also said the petrochemical plant, which covers 250,000 hectares of land and is located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, would gulp $14bn, with capacity to refine 650 million barrels of crude oil a day.
“One would prefer if it was deregulated so that we know that we are playing in the open market. The key issue is that if I buy crude, whether from Nigeria or anywhere else, I buy at an international price. If I produce a product and want to sell, I should sell that product at an international price.
“So, I will not be affected by the decision of local pricing; it is on that concept that we went into refining. We expect that we will buy our input, especially crude, for international market price, and that when we produce products, we will sell those products at international prices.
“The refining industry is a global industry; if you use those international benchmarks, you shouldn’t really worry about the price. It is about time Nigeria completely deregulated the downstream industry. The kind of reason that has compelled the government to fix petroleum product prices has not been tenable.”