Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has signed a $3.3 billion deal with 12 Nigerian banks to finance the building of an oil refinery in Nigeria. The oil refinery would be the largest Africa and is set to turn Nigeria into a petroleum exporter. The wealthy billionaire recently told the BBC that the venture would also be a significant source of jobs for Nigerians.
“At the completion of these projects we expect Nigeria to become not only self-sufficient in fertilizer and refined petroleum products but indeed to become recognized as a leading exporter of these products,” Dangote said at the deal signing.
At present, despite being one of the world’s leading exporters of oil, Nigeria has to import most of its fuel due to decrepit refineries that are on a whole unable to meet the nation’s needs.
Mr. Dangote through the refinery will produce 400,000 barrels of oil per day and 2.8 million tons of urea for fertilizing crops to produce polypropylene, used to make plastics. The refinery is due to be operational by 2016.
The $3.3 billion deal was led by Standard Chartered Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Mr. Dangote has ventured into a number of new business lines this year including a recent foray into the tomato paste business earlier this year.