•As Togolese President visits Lagos, inspects refinery •FG working to create more Dangotes— Minister
LAGOS State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that the largest single line refinery in the world being developed at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) by Africa’s richest man and business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will positively change the face of oil and gas business in the West African region.
This was as he said it would also resolve fuel supply challenge and create jobs.
Governor Ambode, who spoke on Tuesday, at the LFTZ during an extensive inspection tour of the Dangote Refinery by the Togolese President, Mr Faure Gnassingbe, described the project as another confirmation that Lagos was a prime investment destination.
According to him, the refinery eloquently attested to the fact that there was a positive investment climate in Lagos, which had resulted in massive investor confidence.
Other eminent dignitaries who participated in the tour included former governors of Ogun, Ekiti and Cross River states— Segun Osoba, Niyi Adebayo and Donald Duke, respectively; billionaire businessman and chairman, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Mr Femi Otedola; members of the Lagos State Executive Council, among others.
“This investment (Dangote Refinery) is one of the biggest in Africa today and will have a huge impact on the economy of not only Nigeria, but the whole of West African region.
“This refinery, when completed, will be the largest single line refinery anywhere in the world, refining 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
“Apart from creating jobs, this refinery will contribute immensely to solving the fuel supply challenge in the West African region,” Governor Ambode said.
The governor expressed satisfaction with the level of work done on the project so far, saying he was happy that a lot of progress had been made.
He commended Dangote for his vision, doggedness and unwavering desire to contribute positively to the growth of the Nigerian economy, as well as his confidence in the Lagos economy.
Governor Ambode, who said aside the fact that the project confirmed the positive investment climate in Lagos which had resulted in massive investor confidence, also strongly believes that the future prosperity of West Africa was in collaboration between government and investors.
He said this was the reason his administration had been working hard to encourage investment in the State.
The governor reiterated that Lagos was home to all nations, races and creeds, including substantial Togolese population, adding: “I’m positive that we are providing them with the opportunities to get ahead in their endeavours.”
Governor Ambode said as a prominent Head of State in the West African region, he was not oblivious of the interest of President Gnassingbe in the Dangote Refinery, adding that the project was one of the emerging opportunities in Lagos State.
While inviting Togolese investors to take advantage of the positive investment climate in Lagos, Ambode assured that Lagos State was open for businesses and that his administration, in a bid to encourage investment, had massively invested in infrastructure and security of lives and property.
“Lagos is open for business. We are open to collaboration with the Togolese government and investors to move our two countries forward.
“Our government is investing massively in creating infrastructure which will support businesses and individuals. We have made huge investment in security and we will continue to ensure that the lives and property of all citizens are secured.
“We will remain partner in progress with all our investors. Our desire is for investors to invest in Lagos, grow their businesses, create wealth and jobs for our people and ultimately grow our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) positively,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the Dangote Refinery project could best be described as a partnership between private sector and government at its best.
Enelamah commended Dangote for being not only Nigerian champion, but champion of Africa, with his massive investments and re-investments, which according to him, were creating jobs and growing the economy.
“We need champions and Dangote is a Nigerian champion; he is an African champion; he is also a role model.
“We need many examples and with the repositioning that the Federal Government is doing, we are going to see many more examples,” Enelamah said.
On his part, Dangote commended President Gnassingbe for finding out time to inspect the refinery, adding that he was happy with the interest and encouragement being received over the project.
Apart from the refinery, there is also petrochemical, fertilizer and gas plant with daily production capacity of three billion cubic feet of gas which are being developed by the Dangote Group, all in one location.