Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the refinery being developed at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) of the state would change the face of oil and gas business in West Africa.
Ambode spoke at the LFTZ during an extensive inspection tour of the refinery by the Togolese President, Mr Faure Gnassingbe, on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the refinery is being developed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian and the richest man in Africa.
The governor said the refinery attested to the fact that there was a positive investment climate in Lagos which had resulted in massive investor confidence.
“This investment (Dangote Refinery) is one of the biggest in Africa today and will have a huge impact on the economy of not only Nigeria but the whole of the West African region.
“This refinery, when completed, will be the largest single line refinery anywhere in the world refining 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
“Apart from creating jobs, this refinery will contribute immensely to solving the fuel supply challenge in the West African region,’’ Ambode said.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of work done on the project so far, saying that he was happy that a lot of progress had been made.
Ambode commended Dangote for his vision, doggedness and unwavering desire to contribute positively to the growth of the Nigerian economy, as well as his confidence in the Lagos economy.
He said that the future prosperity of West Africa lay in collaboration between government and investors.
The governor stressed that his administration had been working hard to encourage investment in the state.
The governor added that Lagos was home to all nations, races and creeds, including substantial Togolese population.
He said the state would continue to provide Togolese citizens in the state opportunities to get ahead in their endeavours.
Ambode said that he was aware of the President Gnassingbe’s interest in Dangote Refinery as a prominent Head of State in the West African region.
He added that the project was one of the state’s emerging opportunities.
Ambode said, “Lagos is open for business. We are open to collaboration with the Togolese Government and investors to move our two countries forward.
“I want to invite Togolese investors to take advantage of the positive investment climate in Lagos.
“Our government is investing massively in creating infrastructure which will support businesses and individuals.
“We have made huge investment in security and we will continue to ensure that the lives and property of all citizens are secured.
“We will remain partners in progress with all our investors.’’
He emphasised that his administration’s desire was for investors to invest in Lagos, grow their businesses, create wealth and jobs for Lagosians and ultimately grow its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) positively.
Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the Dangote Refinery project could best be described as a partnership between private sector and government at its best.
Enelamah commended Dangote for not only being a Nigerian champion but an African champion with his massive investments and re-investments aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy.
“We need champions and Dangote is one; he is also a role model.
“We need many examples and with the repositioning that the Federal Government is doing, we are going to see many more examples,’’ Enelamah said.
On his part, Dangote commended President Gnassingbe for finding out time to inspect the refinery, adding that he was happy with the interest and encouragement the project had received.
Apart from the refinery, Dangote is also developing a petrochemical, fertiliser and gas plant with daily production capacity of three billion cubic feet of gas in one location.
Some eminent dignitaries at the inspection are former governors of Ogun, Ekiti and Cross River States: Mr Segun Osoba, Mr Niyi Adebayo and Donald Duke respectively. Also in attendance was billionaire businessman and Chairman, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola, with members of the Lagos State Executive Council.