End Of Fuel Shortages Imminent, As Buhari Commissions Dangote Refinery May 22

By Miriam Humbe
In what appeared to be one of his last official engagements as Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari would on May 22, commission the Dangote Refinery in Lagos.
The commissioning ceremony of the largest private refinery in Africa, the brainchild of Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group had been long awaited.
The refinery was scheduled for commissiong in the third quarter of the year 2022 when production would begin, to reach full capacity by the first half of year 2023.
Due to some exigencies, the ground breaking event of the Dangote Refinery, which covers 2,635 hectares, was postponed.
What started more than a decade ago amidst daunting challenges had at last,  come to fruition.
Finally, it was again expected that with the Dangote Refinery going afloat, Nigeria’s perennial fuel shortages could be stemmed.
Although originally an oil producing nation, Nigeria imported 80-90 per cent of all the  petroleum products domestically consumed.
Though endowed with the natural resource, Nigeria became the 18th largest importer of petroleum products in the world, spending a stupendous $11.3billion on refined petroleum products in year 2021 alone.
The Dangote Refinery was expected to create nearly 250,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigeria, the highest ever in the private sector.
Besides that, the Dangote Refinery would also provide various business opportunities for wealth creation.
The Dangote Refinery was built to operate on a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, (bpd).
That was well more than 200,000 bpd of Nigeria’s four refineries installed capacity  combined.
A source told Humsimedia that the federal government intended to remove the fuel subsidy, following the take off of the Dangote Refinery.
The source also pointed out that this was the reason the fuel subsidy was only partially funded in the federal government’s 2023 budget.
For instance, in the 2023 budget, fuel subsidy was to remain only until middle of the year.
This was based on an 18-month extension announced by government early in the year 2022.
In a public presentation document, government had announced that only N3.36 trillion had been provided for the PMS subsidy in 2023.
The incoming President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu would expectedly announce the fuel subsidy removal in his inaugural speech on May 29.
The Dangote Refinery upon operation would be saving Nigeria a whooping $10billion in forex, generating almost the same amount of $10billion in exports.

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