President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari stopped him from quitting the establishment of Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals, the world’s largest single-train refinery.
Dangote who disclosed during the commissioning of the project in Lagos, said Buhari’s sustained support and encouragement over the past eight years have been a source of great motivation and strength.
Dangote said the desire to go into the petroleum sector began two decades ago but there were setbacks.
He, however, expressed delight that the project had finally come into fruition.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, the journey to this event was long and arduous. It could not have been possible without the support and collaboration of many parties and individuals.
“So, permit me Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests to recognize and appreciate just a few.
“Let me start with Your Excellency, Mr. President. Your sustained support and encouragement over the past eight years have been, for me personally, a source of great motivation and strength. At times when I felt like giving up, your confidence and quiet words of assurance have made the difference. Mr President, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Dangote also thanked the Lagos State government, starting from the era of President-elect Bola Tinubu, who governed Lagos between 1999 and 2007, till incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“Those like me, who have made Lagos our home will testify that since the beginning of the current democratic dispensation, the government of Lagos State has been exceptionally remarkable in its commitment and support for the private sector.”
“From the tenure of the President Elect, H.E Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who established the Lekki Free Zone, to the incumbent governor H.E Babajide Sanwolu who has been most proactive in ensuring the successful execution of this project, the State government has indeed demonstrated great commitment to promoting an investment friendly climate, which made it possible for Our Group to invest over $30billion in various industries in the state economy over that period.
“I would like to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to the Lagos State government and its successive governors for the resolute facilitation of this enabling business environment.”
It had been exclusively reported that five other presidents would join President Buhari at the epoch-making event.
Among dignitaries at the event are the Presidents of Togo, Gnassingbé Eyadéma; Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo; President of Senegal, Macky Sall; President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum and a host of ambassadors.
Nigeria could save up to $10 billion in foreign exchange and generate another $10 billion in exports with the commencement of the refinery.