To Cushion Effect of Economic Hardship, Dangote Refinery Further Reduces Diesel, Aviation Fuel Prices

•MAN, NECA laud move

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja and Dike Onwuamaeze in Lagos

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery yesterday announced a further reduction in the prices of both diesel and aviation fuel to N940, N980 per litre respectively, in a move it said would help cushion the current economic hardship.

According to the company, the price change of N940 is applicable to customers buying 5 million litres and above from the refinery, while the price of N970 is for customers buying 1 million litres and above.

The latest development  is coming after a move described as ‘unprecedented’,  wherein the much-awaited plant announced a reduction of the price of diesel  from N1,200 to N1,000 per litre.

Dangote refinery 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 had been further recently reduced.

The $19 billion Dangote oil refinery, positioned on a peninsula near Lagos’ commercial centre, began supplying the Nigerian domestic market with petroleum products such as diesel and aviation jet fuel penultimate week .

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.

Speaking on the latest development, the Head of Communication, Mr Anthony Chiejina, explained that the new price was in consonance with the company’s commitment to cushioning the effect of economic hardship in Nigeria.

“I can confirm to you that Dangote Petroleum Refinery has entered a strategic partnership with MRS Oil and Gas stations, to ensure that consumers get to buy fuel at affordable price, in all their stations, be it in Lagos or Maiduguri.

“You can buy as low as 1 litre of diesel at N1,050 and aviation fuel at N980 at all major airports where MRS operates,” he stated.

He further stated that the partnership will be extended to other major oil marketers, with the whole essence being to ensure that retailers do not buy at exorbitant prices.

“The Dangote Group is committed to ensuring that Nigerians have a better welfare and as such, we are happy to announce this new prices and hope that it would go a long way to cushion the effect of economic challenges in the country,” the company stressed.

The management of Dangote Petroleum Refinery had announced a further reduction of the price of diesel from 1200 to 1,000 Naira per litre barely two weeks ago.

Yesterday’s announcement marked the third major reduction in diesel price in less than three weeks when the product sold at N1,700 to N1,200 and also a further reduction to N1,000 and now N940 for diesel and N980 for aviation fuel per litre.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu had also commended Mr Dangote for the initial price reduction, describing it as an “enterprising feat.”

Reacting to the latest development, the Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Ajayi Kadiri, said that the move would have a trickle down impact on the overall economy.

“The decision by Dangote Refinery to first crash the price from about N1,750/litre to N1,200/litre, N1,000/litre and now N940 is an eloquent demonstration of the capacity of local industries to positively impact the fortunes of the national economy.

“The trickledown effect of this singular intervention promises to change the dynamics in the energy cost equation of the country, in the midst of inadequate and rising cost of electricity.

“The reduction will have far-reaching effects in critical sectors like industrial operations, transportation, logistics, and agriculture, contributing to easing the high inflation rate in the country; a lot of companies will be back in operation,” he pointed out.

Shedding light on why he decided to reduce diesel prices last weekend, the Chairman of the Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote said the move was a patriotic gesture that will effectively lower transportation costs and subsequently reduce food prices because of the widespread impact of diesel on everyday commodities.

He cited transportation as a significant contributor to the high cost of goods, particularly in urban centres,  stating that by slashing its price, it will help reduce financial burdens on consumers and foster economic stability.

“It is just to demonstrate that we are very patriotic and when we look at it, the business actually affects the lives of everybody.  To produce anything, the major cost is diesel.

“So, when we looked at it, I said we should try and bring down the cost. Because people who have held on to the business for a very long time were profiteering and we decided that we can afford to sell diesel at N1,000 per litre.

“It is about 60 per cent drop; areas like here (Gombe), Borno, Bauchi and the rest, it was selling between N1,700 to N1,800 but right now, I am sure in the next few days, you will not buy diesel at more than N1,100/ litre,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has  commended the Dangote refinery for further crashing of the price of diesel.

NECA said that the singular action had the potential to affect the whole business value chain and supply chain.

The view was expressed yesterday by the Director General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, who stated that Dangote Industries had remained a true symbol of the resilience and doggedness of Nigerian businesses.

Oyerinde said: “The crash in the price of diesel and jet fuel will have unimaginable positive impact on the cost of production, job creation and reduce pressure on Forex and also increase the opportunity for many businesses to spring up along the value chain.”

He stated that the move had further demonstrated and affirmed Dangote Industries as the foremost and dependable ally in nation-building.

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