By Tanko Mohammed
Dangote Oil Refinery has been listed among top 20 influential projects by the renowned Project Management Institute (PMI) for its potential to fuel Nigeria’s economic transformation from importer to self-sustaining powerhouse in petroleum refining.
A statement signed on Thursday in Lagos by Mrs Roseline Okere, Internal Communications analyst, Dangote Industries, said PMI disclosed this in its recent annual list of Influential Projects for 2020 after a survey in the last 18 months.
The statement said the ‘Most Influential Projects ‘ highlights compelling projects around the world and across industries that achieved significant milestones and impacted the society.
“The 2020 Most Influential Projects list identifies the noteworthy projects that have defined the past year, a year that has been dramatically transformed by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
“Many of the projects on this year’s list therefore reflect the ingenious ways that project managers and change-makers have kept initiatives moving forward in the face of unexpected obstacles and challenges,” it said.
Mr Otema Yirenkyi, PMI’s Vice President of Global Engagement, said when it’s completed in 2021, the Dangote Oil Refinery in Nigeria would be the largest oil refinery in Africa and one of the largest in the world.
Yirenkyi said it would process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day and create nearly 35,000 jobs in and around Lagos.
“But its benefits run deeper than that. By creating a self-sustaining supply of high-quality refined petroleum products, the project will reduce the country’s reliance on imports; help stabilise its currency and aid in the fight against poverty.
“And the project team, led by Mr Devakumar Edwin, has seemingly planned for everything: from providing on-site housing to avoid a pandemic lock-down to training the engineers that will be needed to operate the refinery,” he said.
Explaining why he chose the project, Yirenkyi said Nigeria exports raw materials and imports finished goods – a situation that leaves the country reliant on other countries and contributes to poverty.
“The Dangote Refinery turns that model on its head, allowing Nigeria to not only produce oil but the refined petroleum products that have always been in short supply. In the true sense of the word, the project is “transformative,” he added.
Mr Sunil Prashara, President of PMI explained that the most influential projects reflects how project managers and change managers have found ingenious ways to keep initiatives moving forward in the face of unexpected obstacles associated with the pandemic.
“We live in a world of change and uncertainty – and COVID-19 has accelerated these trends with major shocks and disruptions to the world of business and society itself overnight.
“Our 2020 list of Most Influential Projects should give us hope that we can meet these challenges and make even the boldest ideas into reality,” Pashara said.
Edwin, Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Group, blamed the rising poverty of Nigerians on its import-based economy which consistently weakens the country’s currency.
“This refinery is going to be a game-changer for the country because, at a minimum, there will be a value addition to the treasury of $10 billion, in terms of foreign exchange. So a key advantage will be the currency rate stabilisation.
“And if you talk about Africa as a whole, that’s going to be a matter of pride, that Africa can be self-sustaining, as far as the refined products are concerned,” he said.