|Alhaji Aliko Dangote|
The Africa's richest man and President of the Dangote Group, said the group is set to build Africa’s largest refinery, petro-chemicals and fertilizer manufacturing complex in Nigeria with a loan secured from the consortium of banks providing a total of $3.3 billion credit facility for the project.
He also said the project, which will cost $9 billion, represents 20 percent of the nation's reserves is meant to make the country self sufficient in both petrochemical and petroleum products.
"Now, Nigeria is going to be taken out of the list of countries that import petroleum products. We will produce 20 million metric tones which is currently equivalent to what Nigeria consume currently," he said
Dangote came to see President Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday after the signing of agreement for the establishment of the petrochemical project at to be located at Olokola, in Ondo State.
"Today, we did the signing ceremony, the Vice President came to witness the signing but we insisted in coming to thank Mr. president so much for his policies. Without good government policies, there is no way the private sector can invest in Nigeria, because we are not Father Christmas at all. The polices I have to be right."
He noted that the project is expected to be the biggest single investment in Africa, and is expected to make Nigeria self sufficient in fuel importation adding that Nigeria currently spends about $30 billion dollars annually importing petroleum products.
He further disclosed that with the signing of the agreement, about 85,000 Nigerians at the initial stage and 8,000 engineers will be employed.
"When you look at what is now happening to Shell Petroleum and others, this policy is better for us" he said.
The President while speaking with Aliko Dangote, said his administration will continue to implement policies and measures that will continuously improve the operating environment for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian economy.
Jonathan lauded the plans by the Dangote Group to build Africa’s largest refinery, petro-chemicals and fertilizer manufacturing complex in Nigeria and thanked the consortium of banks that are providing a $3.3 billion credit facility for the project.
The President also expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation of the great support being given by Nigeria’s private sector to the implementation of his administration’s agenda for national transformation.
Noting that the Dangote Group’s massive investment in refining, petrochemicals and fertilizer production will significantly contribute to the attainment of government’s priority objective of job creation, the President thanked him and the Chief Executives of the Nigerian banks that are helping to finance the project for being patriotic and having the confidence to invest in their own country.
“We are pleased that you are now investing in refining, petro-chemicals and fertilizer production. It is the downstream sector of oil and gas that can really create many jobs. Your interest and investment in that area will help in the area of job creation which we have been emphasizing. You are also helping us to move away from being a mere producer of raw materials by adding value to our natural resources,” he told Alhaji Dangote and members of his delegation.
Alhaji Dangote, who led the team from his company, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria’s leading banks, had earlier told the President that they were at the Presidential Villa to thank him for his administration’s policies which have greatly encouraged further investments in Nigeria.
“Your policies have helped us greatly. Without them, we will not be where we are today,” the President of the Dangote Group told President Jonathan.
He said that the refining, petro-chemicals and fertilizer complex planned by his Group will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products including diesel and aviation fuel, as well as poly-propylene and fertilizer.
Alhaji Dangote, who came on the visit to the President after the signing of the loan agreements for the complex, was accompanied by the Chief Executives of participating banks including First Bank of Nigeria, UBA, Stanbic-IBTC, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Rand Merchant Bank.
Others on his delegation included Chief Kola Jamodu, Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Jim Ovia and management executives of the Dangote Group.