President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has described Dangote Refinery and Fertiliser projects as the best industrialised project to happen to Africa.
He said these projects, which are far beyond the expectation of his team and himself, would positively affect the economic growth and development of not only Nigeria but Africa as a continent.
Adesina said this while on a tour of the Dangote Refinery Complex over the weekend with the board members of the Bank.
He described Aliko Dangote as an enigma, who should be honoured in Africa and even beyond for his passion, vision and determination to develop and ensure that Africa as a continent is out of the poverty circle; with his aggressive employment generation scheme across many African countries.
He said: “One of the things I admire the most about Alhaji Dangote is that he actually believes in Nigeria, and he invests his money in Nigeria. He believes in Africa and invests in Africa.
“Nobody could invest the type of billions of dollars that is here, unless the person not only has the vision but also the commitment and passion for his country. We are extremely proud of you and of your commitment to the continent.
“Aliko is quite an inspirational and visionary business leader and for anybody to have done what I have seen here, I think that person deserves world class kudos for that… I see a company that I will proudly call Africa’s growth accelerator company.
“With this project, we see an acceleration of how to reduce imports. We see acceleration on how to have an outbound on export; a value chain development and how to compete regionally and globally.
“I am completely blown away with what I saw here today…I can’t believe what I saw…this project will reverse the huge sum the nation spends on foreign exchange. When you look at how much we import, it is about $57 billion worth of different products and we export only about $50.4billion.
“So we have to balance that with about $7billion and talking to them here, they showed us that they can have a domestic market of about $11billion and that is an incredible market.
“This will save Nigeria about $9 billion, a year from importing petroleum products, so this is huge for Nigeria and even for Africa as a continent.”
With this project, we see an acceleration of how to reduce imports. We see acceleration on how to have an outbound on export; a value chain development and how to compete regionally and globally.
On the fertiliser complex, Adesina said: “being a man passionate about agriculture, this is a company that is producing three million metric tonnes of urea, which will make Nigeria totally self-sufficient.”
“Nigeria will become a net exporter of fertilisers. It will drive productivity growth in Nigeria, prices will come down and the quality will also improve.”
While thanking the AfDB team for their visit to the plants, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said: “The Refinery will commence operation by the third quarter of 2022. On the mechanical completion, we are almost finished, and we have started hydro testing, almost 70% gone. Hopefully, before the end of Q3, operations will commence.”
Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said the refinery complex, which includes a refinery, petrochemical plant, a fertiliser plant and a subsea pipeline project, is the largest single-train refinery in the world.
He said the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would stimulate economic development in Nigeria, adding that it can meet 100% of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Jet), and also have surplus for export.
Edwin said this would create a market for $11 billion per annum of Nigerian crude and foreign exchange savings/earnings $9.9 billion. He noted that, “we have impacted on job creation with 3,580 Nigerian personnel on site, excluding employment by the various contractors and subcontractors at the site.”