Sunday, 1st October 2023

Refineries, yams, Dangote and goats!

By Kayode Adeoye
13 July 2016   |   2:50 am
Nigeria's energy infrastructure has, over the years, been a source of misfortune for many but big business for venal scallywags with impudent bravado who promise heaven but deliver hell! Monies appropriated to revitalize...
Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote

Nigeria’s energy infrastructure has, over the years, been a source of misfortune for many but big business for venal scallywags with impudent bravado who promise heaven but deliver hell! Monies appropriated to revitalize the sector have always ended up in private pockets.

These monies are generally referred to as yams and the private pockets as goats! It is in the light of this cyclic madness that DrillBytes celebrates the ambitious project of a rare and quintessential made-in-Nigeria businessman, a titan to trail, and an industrialist for example, who has invested all his life majorly in Nigeria and whose businesses are touching more Nigerians positively like the waves of the sea. It is the tactical deployment of a lion to keep goats away from yams!

The quintessential businessman is Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the model to match is his upcoming refinery that generates more than enough megawatts of electricity to power it at a quarter of the price Nigerians are being taxed, for tons of ‘megawatted’ darkness! Perhaps, a peep into some of the highlights of his upcoming refinery set to begin production in the year 2018, as reported by Dr Nitch Okoye of Anabel Group in the online stockwatch of 3rd July, 2016 will suffice.

Over $4B worth of equipment currently sits on the refinery site.The project is slated to cost $14B of which Dangote is contributing $7B in equity. The project site is 2,135 hectares of land in Epe, Lagos.

It is the largest single train grass roots refinery in the world with a processing capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, BPD. When the project comes on stream, Nigerians will save a minimum of $10B a year on imports. Dangote group brought in three world class sand dredgers to sand fill the site with 13million m3 out of 30 million m3 of land so far reclaimed.

The project, during construction and after, will employ tens of thousands of Nigerians. The ammonia component of the plant is slated to produce 2.8 million tons of Urea.

Dangote’s provides his own electricity to power the project at a cost of $400,000/MW while the Federal government’s is $2M/MW, saving 80% thereof.The plant has an export value of $6B per year implying Dangote’s efforts will increase the amount of foreign exchange in Nigeria’s foreign reserves by at least, 40% of current value on a yearly basis.

Refined products to be produced at the plant include but not limited to Propane, Petrol, Jet Fuel, Diesel, Kerosene, Carbon Black, Polypropylene and Polyethylene.The United States Trade and Development Agency is supporting the project with $997M.

After all said and done, it will be near impossible for any goat to eat Alhaji Dangote’s yams because such goats will discover belatedly it has taken a self prescribed poison and that is not all, the revived goats and yams will still belong to Alhaji Dangote or any such private investor! No long court cases, no oversight by the national assembly, no political party supremacy, no fifth columnists and certainly, no interference by any non-governmental organization and/or labour, all of which have somehow, impeded the progressive agenda of government at cleansing up the sector or separating the goats from the yams.

It is a model that thrives on a head for a tooth and a heart for an eye! Exactly the model Nigeria needs to deal with the preponderance of goats over yams which bureaucracy, red tapes and blind oversight common in the sector, as in others, will not allow, coupled with the flexible laws of the land that encourages all manner of disgusting idiosyncrasies.

The mindset of Nigeria’s current president is understandable in this regard, a people-friendly one, which perhaps, made him delay deregulation for long until present economic realities forced him otherwise. Now, premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, is currently selling for N130/litre in some filling stations, N140/litre in some others while still selling for N145/litre in most filling stations across the country. The market is evolving and will eventually wean itself of itself at the appropriate time.

Economic realities do not agree with the President’s mindset and so, government needs to encourage more Dangotes to invest in Nigeria while creating a level playing field through legislations and regulations. Government needs to free up the choked space by divesting from the energy sector and such other critical sectors of the economy so as to move the country forward and free the government from the distraction of chasing economic saboteurs all over the world.

With the increasing paucity of yams, we cannot sustain the voraciously insatiable appetite of these systemic goats and must therefore, make them an offer they cannot resist, which is why It is of necessity to deploy lions of the order of Dangote to keep our yams safe from these rampaging goats! Yes, with investors like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, our commonwealth will be beyond the reach of venal delinquents! As the Hong Kong based Blooming Faith Petroleum Ltd agrees to site a 200,000BPD refinery in Akwa-Ibom State, the years ahead promises to be interesting.

Apart from strengthening the Naira, this will be the progressive change Nigeria needs and not the political ‘change’ that is presently being felt more in the streets, like a debit alert!
. Kayode Adeoye is an energy experts in Lagos.