Uganda News

Nigerian refinery for Dangote oil opens

Nigeria recently opened the largest oil refinery in Africa, which is expected to help with the country's ongoing fuel shortages.

Africa’s biggest oil refinery has been opened in Nigeria, where it is hoped it will alleviate chronic fuel shortages.

Nigeria is a major oil producer but most of this is sent abroad while it has to import the refined fuel used in vehicles and elsewhere.

As a result the country often faces chronic fuel shortages.

This is the problem that the $19bn (£15.2bn) refinery, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, is intended to tackle.

“This is a game-changer for the Nigerian people,” said President Muhammadu Buhari.

The plant, which is not yet operational, has the capacity to produce about 650,000 barrels of petroleum products a day – more than enough to supply the country’s needs. It also includes a power station, deep seaport and fertiliser plant.

Nigeria’s existing refineries have been completely shut down for over three years owing to oil theft, pipeline vandalism and structural neglect.

If all goes according to plan, the plant might significantly improve the lives of Nigerians: “Every time there is fuel scarcity, I don’t open my shop because there’s no light [electricity] to work and I can’t buy fuel for my generator,” a young hairdresser from Lagos told the BBC.

During the refinery’s opening on Monday, Mr. Dangote gave an overview of his plans for it, saying, “Our first goal is to ramp up production of the various products to ensure that within this year, we are able to fully satisfy the nation’s demand for quality products.”

What effect the plant will have on fuel prices in a nation where retail prices are subsidized is unclear, though.  administration claims that these subsidies will be eliminated soon.

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