Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele has said Dangote Refinery will employ over 70,000 Nigerians when it begins operation. He said the various policies of the Federal Government will ultimately reduce unemployment in the country.
The apex bank’s governor, who addressed reporters after touring the refinery at the weekend, said the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant is expected to increase its workforce from the current 34,000 to over 70,000 when it becomes operational.
Also, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said he is on a mission to aggressively reduce the unemployment in the country. He said the plant would also retain foreign exchange as Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in petroleum refining.
“Besides, we are going to help in terms of not only creating jobs but also in reducing the outflow of foreign exchange, not only in petroleum products but also in petrochemicals and in fertilizers. We would be one of the highest foreign exchange generating companies, going forward,” Dangote said.
According to him, the company’s $2 billion granulated urea fertilizer plant at Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos State will begin operations in May. The foremost industrialist said the fertilizer plant would make Nigeria the only urea exporting country in sub-Saharan Africa and the biggest producer of polyethylene, which is capable of generating $2.5 billion annually.
He said: “Nigeria will soon become the biggest and only urea exporter in sub-Saharan Africa, for the first time. And we are not only exporting, but we would also be exporting big time.
“We are also going to have polyethylene, which is about 1.3 million tonnes annually. These two products would bring in about $2.5 billion annually in terms of foreign exchange. A lot of forex would now come in and that $2.5 billion is only about 10 percent of remittances.”
Dangote said a pre-testing of the fertilizer plant had begun, adding that the project would be the largest fertilizer plant in the world with its 3 million tonnes per annum capacity. According to him, the refinery, which is at 48 percent completion, will make Nigeria the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa.
Dangote said the size of the project necessitated the construction of a jetty to take care of the over-dimensional cargoes.
“It is a huge project. That is why we have built a jetty and the pipeline through which we are bringing in the crude.
“One of the reasons the CBN is supporting us is that by the time we become operational, we will not only be creating jobs but we will reduce the outflow of foreign exchange not only in petroleum products but in petrochemicals and fertilizers.
“We will be one of the highest foreign exchange generating companies, going forward.
“I must really confess that without the government’s support, there is no way we could have done what we have done so far.
“I think we must thank Mr. President for his policies. I thank the CBN governor and management for bringing down interest rates to encourage more entrepreneurs to go into mega projects like this.
“We should not wait for foreign investors to come and develop our economy. It will never happen. So, we have to do it ourselves, and the only way to do it is to take advantage of the low-interest rates and the banks being forced to loan money out,” he added.