This year, with Government focused on the deregulation in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, business mogul Alhaji Aliko Dangote opens plan to establish a refinery in the country.
In 2011, 19 multinationals were granted approval for the setting up of private refineries in the country by the Federal Government, but none of them have come on stream due to the regulation of the price of fuel in the country.
Where the refinery will be located and its capacity were yet to be disclosed, but one detail known is that work on the refinery will cost $8 billion, which Dangote plans to commence this year.
Alhaji Dangote hosted some senior editors at a breakfast meeting to mark his 57th birthday in Lagos, he said work will start on the refinery once his company secured the final approval from the Federal Government.
Nigeria’s wealthiest man also mentioned the fact that only a mad businessman would consider establishing a refinery in Nigeria under the present uncertain business terrain of subsidising the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, Dangote also pleaded with the government to allow market forces to determine the price of fuel and allow the private sector play a significant role in the industry.
“We are all aware that the Federal Government had issued 19 licences to the private sector to establish refineries in the country, but how many of them have come on stream? There is uncertainty in the sector and only a mad businessman will put up a refinery now, but we are set to do that,” he said.
Alhaji Dangote urged Federal Government to put in place critical infrastructure in all sectors of the economy, so as to kick-start its rapid development.
He added that with the country’s population expected to hit 200 million by 2015, there were no serious plans to cater for the huge population.