The Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant is promoted by the Nigerian multinational industrial conglomerate – Dangote Group. The group is founded by Aliko Dangote, said to have a net worth of $10.9 billion, according to Forbes 2019 list of black billionaires.

The expansive project, covering an area of 2,635 hectares, and located in Idasho community, near Akodo town, Ibeju Lekki, on the outskirt of Lagos, is said to be capable of meeting 100 per cent of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products – gasoline, diesel, kerosene, aviation jet fuel and fuel oils, and also with capacity to export.

It is said to encompass the world’s biggest fertilizer plant with a capacity of three million tonnes per annum; subsea pipeline infrastructure spanning 1,100 kilometres, and a 480MW power plant to serve the complex.

A seaport is also under construction on the site, with its first phase already completed.

The refinery is planned to be the world’s largest single-train petroleum refinery, with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day and 838 Kilo Tonnes Per Annum (KTPA) polypropylene plant.

With an estimated $12 billion already invested, and the failure to meet the 2019 completion deadline, there is a race against time, especially since the project is partly funded by a loan from a consortium of financial institutions.

Some of the workers at the site, who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity, agreed that the target deadline may have informed the decision to throw caution against COVID-19 into the bin by both the promoter and the contractors.

Lockdown violation

President Muhammadu Buhari on March 29 declared total lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja – Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as part of measures to contain the rampaging coronavirus disease.

The total lockdown lasted between March 30 and May 3.