May I on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, congratulate Mr. Segun Adebutu and his team for bringing to reality this vision for an integrated Petroleum Complex, here in Ogun State.
What he and the Petrolex team have done, what they have accomplished here is an impressive testament to the power of vision and dedication, and it really is a special pleasure to be here today to see for myself and commission this one-of-a-kind facility.
From the point of view of government’s downstream objectives in the petroleum sector, this investment is of special significance.
It ticks the boxes of strengthening our distribution infrastructure for petroleum products and meeting the target for reducing the importation of petroleum products and PMS to less than 20% by the end of 2018 and first quarter of 2019.
We expect that this space will be filled by investments in facilities such as this and this is why we are delighted this facility with a capacity to store 300 million litres of petroleum products – the largest of its kind in the country and am told, the largest in Africa and conveniently holding 4,000 trucks at a time, and a jetty capable of berthing 30million metric tons of cargo. This will substantially improve retail distribution in Nigeria and increase domestic storage capacity for petroleum products and the cargo coming in on barges from larger vessels for now will be stored and loaded from the gantry right here, this will decongest the Apapa and Ibafo tanker traffic and facilitate distribution from here to practically anywhere in the country.
But more cheering is the fact that this facility is still work-in-progress. The Tank Farm that we are commissioning today represents only the first phase of a much grander project: a ‘Mega Oil City’ which will include a 250,000 barrels per day Refinery, and this clearly, to date, will be the largest single line refinery in the country.
But perhaps of greater importance as a feature of our national economic objectives is that this facility again bears out a philosophical plank of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which is that private capital must lead Nigeria’s economic revolution. And this is trite as the private sector is the nation’s major economic force and that the primary business of government is to create the environment that enables commerce to thrive unhindered.
And of importance also is the fact that significant local investments such as this send the strongest possible signal to foreign investors that not only is government saying that Nigeria is the investment destination in Africa, local smart money like Petrolex is also saying the same thing.
And may I also say that there is credible independent third party evidence that we are on the right track. A month and half ago the World Bank adjudged us to be one of the ten most improved economies in the world this year, from the point of view of our business and investment climate.
This facility also represents jobs – 10,000 direct and indirect ones. Each of these jobs will support not just the workers, but also their dependents, aside from the significant impact on the local economy here – by way of increased incomes traders, farmers, artisans, and landowners. There is of course the fact that economic activities moved to a place where no economic activity was hitherto.
The Federal Government is absolutely clear in its belief that industrialization is the key to achieving sustainable economic growth and creating jobs for millions of young people. The petrochemical industry is a logical and crucial component of this plan and we are doing all we can to provide an incentive regime that will drive investments in this sector. And we certainly would like to see credible investors like Petrolex prominently in this crucial space as well. And speaking to Mr Adebutu, already, there is a plan for a fertilizer facility here and also for the production of several other elements of the petrochemical industry.
We have recently published through the NIPC, Nigeria’s full list of business incentives and barely two weeks ago the President asked that I chair a committee to look into how to provide lower interest rates for the manufacturing industry. We understand clearly that without some kind of preferential interest rates for the manufacturing industry in Nigeria, we will not be able to make much progress and for that reason we are now looking very closely into how we can provide cheap credit for the local industries and I hope we will be able to achieve this in a short period of time.
Let me again express the Federal Government’s full support for this project and our pledge is that we will be with you every step of the way, supporting in every way we can.
I must congratulate the patriarch of the Adebutu business dynasty, Sir Kensington Adebutu on this special day, where you have seen the future of your progeny in your lifetime. This is a great blessing indeed for which we join you in giving thanks to the Almighty God.
Segun and the management and staff of Petrolex Oil and Gas deserve our commendation and congratulations on this landmark achievement and we all pray for the speedy and successful completion of the next phases of this project.
Nigeria eagerly awaits the full manifestation of this “Mega Oil City Project” and in a few minutes it will be my pleasure to commission the Petrolex Mega Oil City project.
Thank you all.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
December 12, 2017