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 a tour of the Dangote refinery project in Lagos, Gnassingbe described Dangote as 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 fertiliser projects, governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode, said the refinery and fertiliser projects would change the face of both Lagos State and Nigeria, once completed. While seeking collaboration with the Togolese government and investors, Ambode lauded Aliko Dangote and thanked him for his confidence in the Lagos economy.
Minister of industry, trade and investment,Okechukwu Enelamah, described Aliko Dangote as an African champion that was bent on developing not only Nigeria but Africa as a whole.
He said both the refinery and fertiliser projects clearly demonstrate the partnership between the government and the private sector.
While 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.
According to him, the $12billion refinery would have a capacity of 650,000 barrels a day. He assured that there would be market for the refined products because even in Africa, only three countries had effective functioning refinery with others importing from abroad.
Dangote named the countries with refineries as Egypt, South Africa and Cote d'Ivoire, saying, "Our refinery will be ready in the first quarter of 2019. Mechanical completion will be at the end of 2018, but we will start producing in 2019."
When the projects fully take off in 2019, Dangote said it would help the country save $5 billion spent on the importation of oil into the country. The refinery, petrochemicals and fertiliser in one spot according to him, were the single largest stream in the world.
"This site is the biggest site in the world, the refinery is the biggest single refinery in the world, the petrochemicals is 13 times bigger than Eleme Petrochemicals, while the fertiliser plant will be 10 times bigger than former National Fertilizer Company," he added.