After successfully mobilizing funds for his $9 billion investment in refining and petrochemical sub sector of the petroleum industry, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has declared that only an enabling environment provided by all stakeholders in the industry remains a panacea for any meaningful investment in the local oil and gas industry for the growth and development of the nation’s economy.
Dangote who spoke at the third Quadrennial Delegate Conference of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Port-Harcourt at the weekend, warned that the dream to refine and produce petroleum products for exports will not come to fruition unless the Federal Government musters the political will to drive to its logical conclusion the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas industry.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), according to him, is a bold step that was initiated to correct perceived flaws in the industry as it is intended to address structural, policy and managerial issues in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Dangote who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Engr. Joseph Makoju, said the bill which has been designed to enhance the value of the sector for the Nigerian people, also seeks to plug identified loopholes in policies and management agreements and by so doing improve transparency and efficiency of the sector.
“When the PIB is fully signed into law, it is expected to address observed weaknesses and abuses by operators and stakeholders, eliminate corruption and restructure the industry in order to make it more responsive to social and economic needs of both Nigerians and the investors in the sector.
“It is now generally accepted that successful passage and signing of the PIB into law is vital to the growth and development of the Nigerian petroleum industry.
“Amongst other things, it will help address gas flaring, which is a perennial and highly contentious issue in the industry, and by improving the empowerment and buy-in of host communities, it will ultimately curtail youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region.”
Addressing the gathering on “Reforms in the Oil and Gas Industry: Catalyst for National Growth and Development, What Prospect for the Attainment of Decent Work Agenda?”, Dangote said the labour unions play crucial roles in the economy.
“You are the voice of the workers in the oil and gas sector, which is the mainstay of the nation’s economy.
This therefore places enormous responsibility on you to enhance the stability of the economy and create a peaceful and enabling environment that will attract investors like the Dangote Group to invest in growing the nation’s economy. You have performed excellently well in this regard and you deserve special commendation.
“It may be of interest to this particular assembly to learn that the Refinery and Petrochemical Complex as well as the Fertilizer Plants, shall be served by an Off-site Truck Parking Stop, built entirely to international standards with the linkage of all its amenities and communication to the Complex.
“A communication and electronic monitoring system will be established on each land access route to the Complexes to ensure there will be no chaotic traffic congestion near the Complexes. The project will result in the largest Refinery/Petrochemical/Fertilizer complex in Africa.
“At the conclusion of the project, Dangote Refinery will meet 100 per cent of local demand for refined fuel products, while Polypropylene, which is used in the manufacture of agro-sacks, poly bags and other industrial products, will catalyze the birth of new and allied industries. We are estimating that the project will engage up to 25,000 people over a four-year construction period and will create about 3,500 permanent jobs when completed.”