Tinubu Lauds Dangote Group for Reducing Diesel Pump Price

•Wants businessmen to prioritise Nigeria’s interest

Deji Elumoye and Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu yesterday commended the ‘enterprising feat’ by the management of the Dangote Refinery for its decision to reduce the pump price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel.

The company, during the week, reviewed downwards the price it sells the product to petroleum marketers from N1,200 to N1,000 per litre.

But the presidential statement said Dangote also provided a discount of N30 per litre for an offtake of 5 million litres and above.

The price review, the statement said, represents a significant drop from the N1,650 rate it hitherto sold at the pumps, stressing that it will in no small measure, impact the prices of sundry goods and services across the nation.

The move described as ‘unprecedented’ came after an Executive at Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin,  confirmed that the company has begun distributing diesel and jet fuel to the local market.

“We have substantial quantities. Products are being evacuated both by sea and road. Ships are lining up one after another to load diesel and aviation jet fuel.  Ships load a minimum of 26 million litres, though we try to push for 37 million litres vessels, for ease of operations,” Edwin said earlier.

In a note from the company, it stated that before now, it had reduced price from the market rate of N1,600 to N1,200, about 30 per cent crash, but that even that price has been further reduced.

The Dangote refinery added that the latest development is expected to significantly impact the overall economy which depends partly on diesel to power businesses.

“While rolling out the products, the refinery supplied at a substantially reduced price of N1,200 per litre three weeks ago, representing over 30 per cent reduction from the previous market price of about N1,600 per litre.

“This significant reduction in the price of diesel, at Dangote Petroleum Refinery, is expected to positively affect all the spheres of the economy and ultimately reduce the high inflation rate in the country,” the refinery said in the note on Tuesday.

The Dangote refinery, positioned on a peninsula near Lagos’ commercial centre, represents Africa’s largest refinery project, completed after many postponements and financed by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man, with an investment of about $19 billion.

With the capacity to process up to 650,000 barrels per day, the refinery is set to be the largest in both Africa and Europe once it attains full operational capacity, expected later this year.

The Dangote refinery is expected to also significantly reduce Nigeria’s dependence on imported petroleum products as the nation currently imports nearly all of its fuels due to the its insufficient or almost non-existent refining capability.

In the presidential release by his Media Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu affirmed that Nigerians and domestic businesses are the nation’s surest transport and security to that glorious destiny of economic prosperity.

He also highlighted the federal government’s 20 per cent stake in Dangote Refinery and why such partnerships between public and private entities are essential to advancing the overall wellbeing of the country.

 Tinubu called on Nigerians and businesses to, at this time, treat the nation as a top priority, while assuring them of a conducive, safe, and secure environment to thrive.

Aside diesel, aviation fuel and a few others, which it currently produces, the icing on the cake for the refinery is expected next month, when it begins to refine petrol, Nigeria’s most used fuel.

The decision by Dangote had also drawn applause from select number of petroleum marketers  as well as manufacturers in the country.

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