President of Togo Republic, Faure Gnassingbe on Tuesday lauded the investment drive of the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote across the African continent, describing him as a man with a mission to aggressively transform the African economy.
Speaking during the tour of the Dangote Refinery project in Lagos, Gnassingbe said Dangote is a worthy son of Africa who has chosen to buoy the economic activities of the continent with his investments. “Aliko Dangote is our pride in Africa and his aggressive investment drive towards developing the economies of the continent should be lauded” he said.
While welcoming the Togolese President to Lagos state and the Dangote Refinery and Fertilizer projects, Governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode said the Refinery and Fertilizer projects will change the face of both Lagos state and Nigeria, once it is completed.
According to him: “I understand your interest in the progress of this project Mr President. This investment is one of the biggest in Africa today and it will have a huge impact not only on the economy of all Nigerians but also of the West African region when completed… Apart from creating jobs, this refinery will also contribute immensely to solving the fuel supply challenge in the West African region”
While seeking collaboration with the Togolese government and investors, Ambode lauded Aliko Dangote and thanked him for his confidence in the Lagos economy. He said: “We also thank Aliko Dangote himself for his confidence in the Lagos economy. This project is a strong confirmation that Lagos is a prime investment destination…this project shows that there is a positive investment climate in Lagos which has resulted in massive investors’ confidence. We believe strongly that the future prosperity of West Africa is in collaboration between the government and the private sector”
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) Okechukwu Enelamah described Aliko Dangote as an African Champion that is bent on developing not only Nigeria but Africa as a whole. He said both the Refinery and Fertilizer projects clearly demonstrate the partnership between the Government and the private sector.
According to him: “…What we are seeing here is a demonstration of partnership between the government and the private sector at its best… nobody goes through this site without understanding the power of the private sector to power an economy…We can all envision about what Africans should be but we know we need champions,, I think one thing everybody accept whether you admire, respect or challenge Dangote or not, is that he is indeed an African champion, he is a Nigerian champion and he will continue to be… he has a choice to invest anywhere in the world but he has chosen to invest and reinvest and reinvest in Nigeria and Africa. So we are very interested in what u are doing and we assure you of the support of the government”
Profusely thanking the President of Togo for coming to see the progress of the projects, Dangote revealed that the projects would cost a minimum of $17 billion.
Dangote said the $12 billion refinery would have a capacity of 650,000 barrels a day. He assured that there will be market for the refined products because even in Africa, only three countries have effective functioning refinery with others importing from abroad.