President-elect Bola Tinubu was noticeably absent at the inauguration of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals, but he was represented at the event by Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima who handed the foreign press a public lashing.
The 650,000 BPD Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals, whose construction was first announced in February 2015 — was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State on Monday.
The five African presidents present at the historic event were Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Mahamat Déby (Chad), Mohamed Bazoum (Niger), Macky Sall (Senegal), and Faure Gnassingbé (Togo).
During his speech, Shettima said the inauguration ceremony ranks the day as one of the greatest in the nation’s history, noting that the refinery will help stabilise the Naira.
The vice president-elect also stated that the refinery will bury all negative stereotypes about Nigeria and Africa as a whole, as usually portrayed especially in the western media.
He added that the refinery, which has the potential to reduce Nigeria’s and Africa’s reliance on imported petroleum products, while also generating much-needed foreign exchange, should receive extensive coverage so that the world can begin to tell a new story about the continent.
“Africa is not all about the crisis in Sudan, Africa is not all about poverty, Africa is not all about deprivation and destitution, Africa is not all about insecurity. I hope the CNNs, the BBCs, and the Sky News of this world will be around to give maximum coverage to this function,” Shettima stated.
The vice president-elect also noted that the incoming government led by Tinubu will do whatever possible to upscale and sustain the tempo of the refinery project.
The Dangote refinery is expected to churn out Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), diesel (AGO), aviation jet fuel and Dual-Purpose Kerosene (DPK), among other refined products.