Dangote Refinery: Of Hopes, Drools And Jokes

Dangote Refinery Wouldn’t Have Been Successful Without Afrexim Bank – Dangote

1 month ago
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Africa’s richest man and Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has disclosed that his $19 billion refinery would not have been successfully completed without financing support that came from the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank).

Dangote disclosed this during the Afrexim Bank’s 31st Annual General Meeting held at the weekend in the Bahamas.

The 650,000bpd  Dangote Refinery, which was commissioned in May, 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, began operations in early 2024.

Recently, a report emerged that it has successfully exported its first jet fuel cargo to Europe, which is a significant development in terms of foreign exchange earnings to Nigeria.

While recounting the challenges his team encountered in building the refinery, Dangote said if he knew all it would take, he wouldn’t have ventured into it.

“During the setting up of the refinery, when we thought about building the refinery, we really didn’t have a clue of how huge this refinery was going to turn out to be and I believe that is the reason why we went into building the refinery. If we knew what we’re really going to get into, we wouldn’t have started at all,” Dangote stated.

He thanked banks that believed in the company and gave loans that were used in financing the refinery project until completion.

“I can tell you that this refinery wouldn’t have been possible without Afrexim Bank,” Dangote stated.

He expressed gratitude to the Afrexim Bank President, Benedict Okechukwu Oramah, and late Dr Herbert Wigwe of Access Holding, for having profound belief in the refinery.

“Without the likes of Afrexim Bank, African Finance Corporation (AFC), it would have been very difficult for us to industrialise. The issue is that you need to go to banks that understand your language, issues and programmes.”

The billionaire investor said he learnt a lot in the course of building the refinery, adding that they borrowed about $5.5 billion and paid interests and principal of about $2.4 billion, while about $2.7 billion is left to be paid.

READ ALSO: Mixed Reaction As Dangote Refinery Postpones Petrol Supply To July 15

He said some people who sabotage the company didn’t believe that they would be successful in building the refinery, and so didn’t border much about what his team was doing until the refinery saw the light of the day.

He expressed concerns that some individuals and groups in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, with entrenched interest in the petroleum importation, are fighting back through some means like sabotaging the supply of crude to the refinery among other ways, because his company’s commencement of local refining poses a threat to their business.

He said that out of 54 countries in Africa, only two (Algeria and Libya) are refining petroleum products, while the rest are importing, which makes the refining facility important in the continent.

He said the refinery is not just going to serve only Nigeria but the entire continent.

READ ALSO: We Can’t Rely On Foreign Investors To Develop Africa – Dangote

“The country, the sub-region (Sub-Saharan Africa) and also the entire continent need this refinery, so you expect them to fight through non-supply of crude, non purchase of the product but I think it is only temporary, we’ll get there,” Dangote stated.

“The mafias in oil are stronger than mafias in drugs,” he added.

He called on Africans to come together and develop the continent.

On how the refinery would address petroleum prices, Dangote said when it began operation, a litre of diesel was about N1,700 but today it has been reduced to N1,300.

He added that going forward, the refinery facility will serve as a strategic reserve of the country in terms of petroleum products.



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