As Nigerians are held in anxious expectation of the long-awaited launch of Dangote Refinery, 77.7 percent say they are confident the project is a viable one, while 22.3 percent think otherwise.
In a survey conducted recently among 1,800 respondents, The Alvin Report asked the question: Is Dangote Refinery a White Elephant Project? The vast majority, 1,398 persons responded in the negative, while 402 persons responded in the positive.
Respondents were given the opportunity to state their reasons in a one-paragraph write-up. Some of the reasons adduced by those who believe in the project were: It is an intervention from the private sector that is long overdue, it’s not just a refinery; apparently, there’s a fertilizer plant going in as well. This makes me believe it is a well-thought-out idea; it’s a privately owned project with a huge investment. The owners will not allow it to go in vain.
Other reasons were: It’s a very good business initiative. It has a ready market in Nigeria. Nigeria would depend on its refined petroleum products and its by-products. The excess products can be exported to earn foreign exchange and at the same time it would conserve our forex; considering the end products of the refinery and its large demand in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s a project of necessity. Yet, another respondent said the petrochemicals part of the project is the ultimate thing.
But among respondents who answered in the affirmative were those who adduced reasons such as The G-7 nations have signed a memorandum of understanding to stop the utilization of fossil fuels by 2030. Others said the refinery’s design was faulty from the beginning. They said instead of the design of a single train, the engineers should have had three trains with the capacity of two hundred thousand barrels per day so that in case of a breakdown other trains would be operational, as opposed to the possibility of a single train breakdown that could shut the entire system down until repair was done.
A few other respondents raised questions about the kind of crude oil the refinery was designed for and its ready availability for refining.
Five respondents said they said yes because they just feel so.
Tipped to be the savior of the Nigerian economy, Dangote Refinery has failed to meet at least two previous deadlines to become operational. The latest deadline as set by the company’s construction engineers has been put at the first quarter of 2022.
The refinery will have the capacity to supply all of Nigeria’s demand for fuel with excess to export.