President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has praised Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, for his entrepreneurial ingenuity, saying the West African sub-Region needs that culture for economic growth.
He stated: “We need to push vigorously, in West Africa, the culture of entrepreneurship, so that we can grow our economies, and become prosperous.
“The truth is that successful economies depend largely on entrepreneurs running successful businesses.”
The business mogul is being celebrated for his Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Complex project, a massive petrochemical complex and one of Nigeria’s single largest investments.
The 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to double Nigeria’s refining capacity and help meet the increasing domestic fuel demand.
It is envisaged to generate foreign exchange through exports.
The Nigeria-based Dangote Group financed the project with an estimated investment of US$19 billion.
The Complex has a 435 megawatt power station, deep seaport and fertiliser unit.
Nigeria is the second biggest oil-rich country in Africa, after Libya, and estimated to hold some 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
However, the country is dependent on imported refined fuel products due to the lack of domestic refining capacity.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a Facebook post, expressed optimism that the project would contribute to the sub-Region’s economic growth.
“I congratulate this distinguished, patriotic son of Africa for the sheer brilliance of this initiative,” he said.
The President said there was no greater symbol of entrepreneurship in the 21st Century in West Africa, and, indeed, in Africa, than “this iconic Nigerian entrepreneur, easily the equal of the celebrated entrepreneurs of our generation, such as Musk, Gates, Page, Bezos and Zuckerberg.”
“When we think of West Africa and Africa before our individual countries, we are not just being pan-Africanists, we are being true nationalists, because what makes West Africa, and, indeed Africa, better, will make each of our individual countries better and more prosperous.”
The integrated refinery and petrochemical project is expected to generate 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs.