Here is why Nigeria’s Senate declared that supporting the Dangote Refinery is a matter of life and death
+ How Refinery Chief demanded exemption from extractive host community levy, third party interference in PIB
The Dangote fertiliser has been scheduled to hit the market before the second quarter of this year, Platforms Africa gathered exclusively on Tuesday.
A top member of the technical team for the multi-million dollars asset, who said this to this leading online newspaper after his anpnymity was assured during a tour of the facility by a joint committee of the National Assembly on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), added that the refinery’s completion date would technically come up by 2022 “though there will be commissioning of some sections this year.”
The Dangote Petroleum Refinery, however, officially demanded an exemption from extractive host community levy as well as amendment of the section which allows third party access into its business activities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Group Chief Strategy Officer, Dangote Group, Aliyu Suleiman, who said this in a presentation to the visiting members of Joint Committee on PIB, maintained that “third party access is a source of concern to us.”
Citing section 3 (1) of the bill as allegedly being prone to third party access, Sulaiman maintained that at the deregularion era, no “regulator should dictate to us how much the product should he sold. It should be willing buyer willing seller.
“Section 3(1) guarantees such interference and we believe that this can be abused.”
Other area, which the group, “wants the committee to look into in the bill is the host community levy. The levy is supposed to be for extractive companies and because we are a refinery and our activities will basically be manufacturing, we should therefore be treated as a manufacturing company,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate has declared that supporting the 650,000 barrels per day capacity Dangote Refinery is a matter of life and death.
Chairman, Senate Committees on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Senator Sabo Mohammed Nakudu, who disclosed this when he led a joint committee on PIB on a tour of Dangote Oil Refining and Fertiliser plant in Lagos, maintained that the multi-billion dollars installation will “massively support the aspiration of government interms of employment, foreign exchange earnings, local content development and it will show to the world the can-do spirit of Nigerians.”
He added that the visit by the joint committee was to be physically see the role private investors could play in the scheme of things at the downstream sub–sector and to reflect this in the PIB.
We are to make sure that “we give all the necessary support, I repeat, all the necessarily support to the Dangote refinery to ensure the success of this project.
“Supporting Dangote Refinery is a matter of life and death. Life because it will massively support the aspiration of government interms of employment, forex, local content development and it will show to the world the can-do spirit of Nigerians,” he declared.
“Our visit to this site today is related to the PIB because refinery is a critical element of the downstream sub-sector and what we are doing here is to have a cleareemr understanding of the role of private investors in that space,” he concluded.
Nakudu’s view was corroborated by the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on POB, Honourable Mohammed Tahir Monguno.
Fielding questions from.newsmen at the site, Monguno said; “The world is moving from oil to the renewables and we need to act fast in the speed of light for the passage of PIB.
“I am impressed by the foresight of the Dangote group in this regard. This massive investments ongoing here will create massive jobs for Nigerians. The Presidenr of Dangote group deserves a pat on his back for diversifying our economy. It will create the much needed employment.
“We will make sure that an enabling environment is created for such private investments to thrive. By way of legislation we should ensure that we cater for this and others in the PIB.”
Evading questions on the exact time Nigerians should expect the PIB to be passed, Monfuno said; “We are to pass it with the speed of light to make our oil and gas sector be in tandem with standards all around the World.”
He tasked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the need to ensure resuscitation of the four refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
“There is a need to take a cue from Dangote,” he said.
Asked on the view by the legislators on calls for the sale of refineries, he said; “Eveñ though, we have not met to take a colective position on this, this is my opinion; With the regard to the issue of privarisation of refineries, there is a huge investment already made by the federal Federal government. The refineries should be restored instead of being sold out totally.”