Against heightened public expectations that the much talked about world largest single stream Dangote Refinery located at Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State, Nigeria, will provide stiff competition to state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, the latter’s group managing director, has said they are not in any contest whatsoever.
Indeed, Kyari said NNPC was not in any contest for market share with Dangote Refinery, which is still being constructed and is expected to begin production in 2020-2021.
According to him, NNPC is rather providing support to the promoters of the project to boost in-country refining capacity.
Kyari stated this position on Wednesday when Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and chief executive officer of Dangote Group, the promoters of the Dangote Refinery, paid a courtesy visit to the NNPC chief at his office in Abuja, the country’s capital.
Kyari, according to a statement signed by Ndu Ughamadu, group general manager, public affairs division of the NNPC, explained that as the chief enabler of the Nigerian economy, the NNPC had a duty to rally industry players like Dangote Group to achieve the long held target of making Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products.
Ughamadu said Kyari gave assurance that the same level of support would be provided to other promoters of refineries, noting that the ultimate goal was to enhance in-country production to the point of self-sufficiency and ultimately for export.
Aliko Dangote is also quoted to have emphasized that the business approach of the Dangote Refinery was to see NNPC as a collaborator rather than a competitor, noting that the refinery would rely heavily on NNPC’s invaluable knowledge of the refining business in Nigeria to achieve its central objective.
According to the statement, Dangote aligned his company with the Federal Government’s aspiration to ensure adequate in-country refining capacity, stating that upon completion the refinery would dedicate 53 per cent of its projected 650,000 barrels per day refining capacity to the production of petrol.
“The most important thing for us is to see how we can partner with NNPC, it is not to see how we can compete with NNPC. We would like NNPC to be part of us and we also want to be part of NNPC. I think that is the only way we can achieve a win-win situation,” Dangote is quoted to have said.