Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, opened his near $20bn petroleum refinery and petrochemical plant on Monday and outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari was on hand to satisfy a craving he has always had to cut the tape.
Dangote’s refinery project was first mooted in 2013 and to be completed by 2016 but construction did not start till 2017, reflecting the failure of the government in Africa’s most populous nation to put in place an effective support mechanism to take high impact project plans from the drawing board to completion.
Secondly, the plant has a completion price target of $18.5bn of which only $3bn is outstanding in bank credit, Dangote having paid down nearly all the over $9bn that was borrowed to fund the construction.
Thirdly, the refinery will eliminate Nigeria’s $26bn foreign-exchange bill for the import of refined petroleum products and fertilizer, $23.3bn and $3bn respectively.
Fourthly, the first product from the refinery will not get to the market before July, probably August. So, Nigeria will still have to wait.
Here is the fifth fact to know. Of the refinery’s total capacity of 650,000 barrels of crude oil a day, 450,000 barrels will be dedicated to meeting domestic requirement.
Sixthly, when fully operational, the complex is expected to earn as much as $21bn in annual income.
Read also: Dangote repays 70 percent of refinery debt, products to hit market August
Nigeria through the NNPC limited hold a 20% equity in the refinery and the refinery will initially receive 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the NNPC.
Despite the bullish comments at the commissioning on Monday, petrol marketers say there has been no discussion on products pricing and products evacuation from the refinery.
Finally, while there is celebration in Lagos especially at the host communities the knives are out in Ondo and Ogun with people asking why the government of the two states missed out on the offer to host the refinery before a decision was then taken to move the location to Lagos.