From Next Month, Nigeria Will Have No Need To Import Petrol, Says Dangote

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Africa’s richest man and Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has assured that following laid down plans of the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria as a nation will have no need to import gasoline from next month.

Dangote also said his refinery has capacity to supply West Africa’s petrol and diesel needs, and the continent’s aviation fuel demand. 

The entrepreneur made this announcement at Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali on Friday, while expressing optimism in the transformation of Africa’s energy landscape.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of litre.” 

He also outlined progresses made by the oil company to ensure that Africa as a continent becomes self-sufficient when it comes to the energy sector.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa, diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa. We have enough aviation fuel to give to the entire continent and also export some to Brazil and Mexico.

“Today, our polypropylene and our polyethylene will meet the entire demand of Africa today and we are doing base oil, which is like engine oil, we are doing linear benzyl, which is raw material to produce detergent. We have 1.4 billion people in population, nobody is producing that in Africa. 

“So, all the raw materials for our detergents are imported. We are producing that raw material to make Africa self-sufficient.

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“As I said, give us three or a maximum of four years and Africa will not, I repeat, not import any more fertilizer from anywhere. We will make Africa self-sufficient in both potash, phosphate, and urea, we are at three million tonnes and in the next twenty months, we will be at six million tonnes of urea which is the entire capacity of Egypt. We are getting there.”

Dangote also went further to outline the achievements of the company since the commissioning of the refinery in February.

“For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market of the US, you know, Google, Microsoft and the rest, we didn’t really participate, we took all our money and invested in Africa. 

“We had this dream, just about five years ago and we said we want to move from five billion (dollars) revenue to thirty billion revenue and we made it happen. It is possible and now we have made it happen and now we have actually finished our own refinery. 

“Our refinery is quite big, it is something that we believe that Africa needs. If you look at the whole continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products which is a tragedy. They are only Algeria and Libya. The rest are all importers. 

“So, we need to really change and make sure that we don’t just go and produce raw materials, we should also produce finished products and create jobs. 

“One of the things we also need to know as Africans is that we produce raw materials and export them, when you export raw materials and somebody now keeps importing things into your continent and dumping goods. what you are importing is poverty and exporting jobs out. So, we have to change that narrative,” he said.

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“We just commissioned in February and now we are producing jet fuel, we are producing diesel and by next month, we will be producing gasoline. What that would do is that we would be taking most of the African crude that are being produced and also be able to supply not only Nigeria, because our capacity is too big for Nigeria, but it would also supply West Africa, Central Africa and also South Africa. We have 650,000 barrels per day, 1 million tonnes of polypropylene, we have 590,000 carbon black, that is the raw materials ink, dyes and co. We are expanding more. This is the first phase and we are going out to the next phase which will start early next year.” 

The richest man in Africa also acknowledged the challenges faced in building the refinery, particularly from those accustomed to the status quo. 

He said there was pushback but failure was not an option,  even though many people did not believe he would succeed.

“The pushback was very impactful because there are people who have actually been used to just making money trading without refinery and you know, to get people who are committed to Africa has to be people that believe in investing in Africa because the companies that are operating today are actually not investing, and some of the issues of stopping that investment is going to impact us, not today but in the future, which means our oil production will continue to go down because in oil, unless you keep investing, the production is going to go down. 

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“So, that is the issue. The major burden on us was that there is no room for failure because we were the EPC contractors and ninety percent of people never believed that we were going to deliver but we have been able to deliver now.”

Despite these achievements, Dangote identified policy inconsistency as a major challenge for African entrepreneurs and called for a review and support from the leaders to ensure proper ease of trading in the continent.

Chioma Kalu

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