Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, has confirmed that the output from his $19 billion refinery complex is poised to soon meet the energy demands of Nigeria and global markets.
Speaking with Bloomberg in Riyadh during the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable, Dangote highlighted the refinery’s imminent provision of fuel. He attributed the delay in production to a deliberate strategy, emphasizing a commitment to kickstart refining operations using locally sourced Nigerian crude, rather than relying on imported raw materials.
“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods; we want to start with the Nigerian crude,” emphasized Dangote, underscoring the readiness of the facility to roll out its gasoline products in the near future. Emphasizing Nigeria as the primary market, Dangote revealed plans for eventual exportation to neighboring West African countries and globally.
The $19 billion Dangote refinery, commissioned shortly before the departure of former President Buhari, faced delays in its projected operational timeline, originally expected to commence production in late July or early August. With a daily capacity to process 650,000 barrels, the facility aims to yield 27 million liters of diesel, 11 million liters of kerosene, and 9 million liters of jet fuel.
Highlighting the sourcing of crude from various Nigerian producers, including the NNPCL, Dangote reiterated the significance of the facility’s role in a nation that, despite being a crude oil producer in Africa, has historically relied on imports to meet its refined petrol demands.
Moreover, President Tinubu’s decision to terminate the subsidy program in May, which previously cost the country an estimated $10 billion in 2022, has added impetus to the need for local refining capacity.