Alhaji Aliko Dangote is set to put smiles on the faces of 30,000 unemployed youths as his 17 billion-dollar refinery project is set to provide jobs to the employed in the country.
In an interview with NAN, Mr Olakunle Alake who is the chief operating officer of Dangote Industries Limited said that by the first quarter of 2019, the company would have employed Nigerians.
Alake noted that the refinery which is located in Lagos would be the single largest stream in the world.
He said: “The refinery and fertiliser projects will create job opportunities for the communities and Nigerians when it becomes operational.
“The refinery will have a refining capacity of about 650,000 barrels of crude a day.”
He noted that local refining of petrol will bring the price down and help the country to save money.
The project which also has petrochemicals and fertiliser plants is expected to help in the country’s plan for diversification.
He said that 98 per cent of basic engineering on the fertiliser plant had been executed, while the construction had progressed by 30 per cent.
“By the time we finish our gas pipeline it will be able to generate about 12,000mw which can be exported to other African countries.
“We will have the capacity to store four billion litres of products and load 2,680 trucks per day.
“The project will aid the country with about 7.5 billion dollars forex savings on importation.
“It will also generate five billion dollars forex earnings from savings and another 5.5 billion dollars export earnings.”
Alake noted that by 2019, Nigeria will be able to save five billion dollars on oil importation.
He expressed optimism in a readily available market to purchase the oil only three countries in Africa had effective and functional refineries.
“By the time we complete this project, there will be opportunity to take on agriculture and say bye to poverty because there will be jobs; no sector has more job potential than agriculture.
“Though the project is an ambitious one but when completed it will give Nigeria a new economic direction in its quest for economic diversification.’’
“That is when diversification starts.”
“We aim to complete the projects within the time frame to assist in easing the forex problem.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to support these private initiatives by providing funding for the projects.
“However, government through the Bank of Industry schemes has given us a credit facility of N50 billion to develop the fertiliser plant.
“We have also gotten another N75 billion approval for the refinery, which we have not yet accessed.”
Dangote is the highest employer of labour after the federal government and is African’s richest man.