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Alakija: Ongoing Oil Industry Reforms, Dangote Refinery, Others to Revitalise Nigeria’s Economy


Africa’s richest woman and Vice-Chairman of FAMFA Oil Limited, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija, has stated that current reforms in the oil and gas sector are expected to have a far-reaching impact on revitalising the Nigerian economy.



Alakija also stated that the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery currently under construction, which was expected to come on stream before first quarter next year, would also contribute a great deal in transforming the country’s economy by helping to tackle petrol subsidy and over-reliance on imported petroleum products.


The FAMFA Oil’s vice president was quoted in a statement to have stated these while speaking as a guest on a recent CNN interview programme, ‘One World with Zain Asher,’ where she equally discussed issues around climate change, the African economy, and how Nigeria can diversify its economy and focus on other areas that are safer for the environment.



She pointed out that as part of the structural adjustments to ramp up the nation’s oil production, the government had introduced reforms such as the marginal field bid rounds, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the transformation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into a limited liability company through the PIA.


She said in view of the last marginal field bid rounds, which was as a result of the international oil companies (IOCs) divesting from some of their assets in the country, the industry now has more indigenous players that would help the growth of the economy.



Alakija expressed optimism that the Dangote Petroleum Refinery under construction in Lagos, would bring a positive change in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry by helping to eradicate subsidy and boost the nation’s refining capacity when operational later this year.


She added that the refinery would impact the economy such that the country would not have to import as much refined products as it currently does.


The richest black woman in Africa, who also expressed her views on climate change, highlighted the need for the government to diversify the economy.



On how Africa and Nigeria would successfully move away from the impacts of climate change on their economy, Alakija stated that the only way to reduce the impacts was for Nigeria and other African countries to pay more attention to other sectors that would not have damaging consequences on the environment.


According to her, these sectors include the manufacturing, agriculture, services and entertainment, ICT, mining, among others, pointing out that those sectors have suffered because Nigeria had relied solely on oil revenue over the years.


“There would be more demands on us now to look inward and to ensure that we are using our land, water, climate, and human resources to ensure that agriculture is ramped up again as it used to be the case before we found oil.


“There is the ICT sector that we need to pay attention to, and I believe that Nigerians are making waves in that sector. Our mining is an area that we need to pay more attention to. I think those areas have all suffered because we have relied solely on oil over the years,” Alakija said.

Culled from THISDAY

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