By Nosakhale Akhimien
President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Festus Osifo says there is no possibility of the Dangote refinery kicking starting production before the year runs out.
The Dangote refinery and Petrochemicals was highly celebrated as a welcome development as the oil-rich nation was on the verge of ending its incessant bouts of petrol scarcity and price hikes.
Buhari had described the facility as one that would enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and a surplus for export.
Owner, Aliko Dangote during the launch said that the first product “will be in the market before the end of July, beginning of August this year”.
However, Comrade Osifo, speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday stated that it would take some time for the Dangote refinery to get to that optimal point of full production dependency
“As of now, they may have their own mechanism, because it is 80 percent privately owned that we may not know. But from our external view, we don’t think that it will come into even up to 50 percent production before the end of the year,” he said.
“Even if the Dangote refinery is working up to 60 percent in-store capacity, then you add that, although the old Port Harcourt refinery is quite small.
“But if you add that with the fact that today our consumption has come down, from the reported consumption of about 65, 66, 70 million litres consumed per day. Today, we now have this level of consumption somewhere around 40 to 45 million litres, these refineries could walk.
The Union leader noted that before the kick-off of the refinery, using crude in the test process would have hinted at the possibility of the product coming into fruition soon and lessening despair.
“You need crude to be doing some of the pre-commissioning stages. As of today, that has not quite commenced, but for the Dangote refinery, we are not quite sure whether it will come up between now and the end of the year.
“From our findings, we pray every day, we push, and we hope that the Dangote refinery should actually come on stream because we learnt that they have not started the full pre-commissioning using crude. For you to be able to know fully when the refinery will come on stream, you may have done a lot of simulations.