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Bleak Future For Dangote Refinery, Management Unsure of Operations Kick-Off

Confusion has reportedly set in for the management of Dangote Refinery, this is as uncertainties appear to have enveloped the operational kick of the most talked about refinery in Africa, ENigeria Newspaper reports…


Confusion has reportedly set in for the management of Dangote Refinery, this is as uncertainties appear to have enveloped the operational kick of the most talked about refinery in Africa, ENigeria Newspaper reports.

You would recall the frenzy and excitement generated at the launch of Dangote Refinery earlier in the year. Captains of industries and celebrities from across sectors including the political class gathered to witness a grand occasion heralding the launch of a new dawn in Nigeria’s history in May 2023.

Dangote Refinery Launch

It was indeed a groundbreaking ceremony and another feather on the cap of Nigeria’s billionaire industrialist and Africa’s richest black man Aliko Dangote in an Afrexim Bank partly sponsored project aimed at putting Nigeria on the map as the biggest oil refining country in Africa with a historic 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery.

However, it’s been four months since the official launch of Dangote Refinery, and even though the management earlier assured commencement of crude oil refining in July of 2023, as at the time of publishing this news, ENigeria Newspaper can report authoritatively that not even a drop of crude has been produced by the refinery which sources are now saying is faced with possible a bleak future.
The 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery is yet to begin production after the August commencement date, earlier announced by the President, of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote.

While delivering his speech at the official commissioning of the refinery by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May, he said, “Your excellencies, distinguished guests, our first product will be in the market before the end of July or beginning of August this year.”

Dangote Refinery Not Refining Four Months After

So far, no drop of refined petroleum products from the refinery has hit the market weeks after the promised production deadline, according to a report published by The PUNCH.

The sad but pitiable development calls to heart a video filmed and shared on the internet by artisan workers of the refinery who were heard loudly saying that, the refinery was nowhere near completion, adding that major internal works are yet to be completed at the time.
The video which went viral immediately created doubt in the hearts of many who were hopeful for a July or August operations kick-off of the refinery project considered as the “messiah” of Nigeria’s oil sector at the time.

Consequently, ENigeria Newspaper reports that Garba Deen, spokesperson for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, in June, said that the NNPC would cut down its fuel imports programme in August, once the Dangote Refinery began to push out refined petroleum products latest August.

In sharp contrast to the assertions of both Aliko Dangote and the NNPC, ENigeria reports that sources within the Dangote refinery who although not authorized to speak on behalf of the company said, that the management was unsure of when petrol refining would begin at the Ibeju-Lekki facility.

Dangote Media Managers Silent on Take-Off

Even as the media managers of Dangote Group are unable to speak on the matter as at press time, the source however said, “For now, the management has not come out with any official date.”

Meanwhile, in a recent development, Festus Osifo, President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, advised the Federal Government to focus on completing the Port Harcourt refinery rather than focusing on the Dangote refinery.

Providing a reason for his conviction, Mr. Osifo said, “We should rather focus on making other refineries work because it would cut down on freight rates from importation, and would reduce prices. Aliko Dangote is a private businessman and can decide tomorrow that he will not refine again, although the government has a 20 percent stake in the refinery. We should rather push for our own refineries, and ask the government the question such as; when is the Port Harcourt refinery going to start refining petrol?”

On the other hand, the National Controller Operations, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi, also said there was no cause for alarm as far as petrol supply was concerned as the NNPCL was still importing.
According to him, management of the Dangote refinery may have delayed production, due to some internal challenges.
He, however, also advised the Federal Government, to ensure that other local refineries come on stream rather than depend on the Dangote refinery.

Even as a bleak future appears to have enveloped the Dangote refinery even from the get-go, a number of recent events suggest that all has not been well with Africa’s richest man as the new forex regime, among other critical policies of the current administration, may have hit him by the knee cap hence, he has been running helter-skelter lately.

Not long after losing several billion to the floating of the Nigerian currency, a development which saw him losing his title as Africa’s richest man for a minute according to Forbes, Dangote faced major criticism at the hands of Nigerians who called him out on X (formerly Twitter) over the price of his Dangote Cement in Nigeria and Benin Republic and a number of other major issues, Dangote appears to have been the target of some powerful people in Tinubu’s government, sources told ENigeria Newspaper.

Meanwhile, a senior aide to President Tinubu who confided in our Abuja correspondent penultimate week spoke passionately of the President’s firm resolve to obstruct the system and shut loopholes created by corrupt public officers and government which only a few purported elites in the country benefited from albeit exclusively.

Speaking exclusively to Aminu Abubakar, ENigeria Newspaper Abuja Correspondent, the source said, “Aliko Dangote and his likes are alleged products of a corrupt system which has benefited only a few for far too long. Some of the excesses of ousted CBN Governor, Emefiele cannot be emphasized without Dangote, and some others being prominently mentioned”, our source revealed.

Recent events with Dangote Group bring up some questions now begging for answers, “Why the rush for launching ceremony for a project allegedly below 60% completion? Could there be some underlying truths Nigerians don’t know yet? These are crucial questions and devoid of the usual hubris synonymous with the media managers of the Dangote group, Nigerians deserve better explanations on the subject in discussion.

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