AFRICANGLOBE – Africa’s wealthiest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote is set to build an important oil refinery in Nigeria to help utilise the country’s natural resources.
The West African country is oil rich, yet due to the lack of infrastructure it only contributes to 2.7 per cent of the world’s total oil supply.
Yet Aliko Dangote wants to change this, and has announced he will spend approximately $8bn to erect a new oil refinery.
The planned facility will have a daily capacity of 400,000 barrels, and is scheduled to open in 2016.
Problems with politics, corruption and mismanagement are some of the factors which have impeded Nigeria’s ability to fully exploit its crude oil supplies.
“Many Nigerians find it preposterous that their country is a wellspring of crude oil but has virtually no functional refinery because of corruption, vested interests and powerful cabals within and outside the Nigerian government,” said Simon Ateba, a local news correspondent.
The planned refinery would virtually double the national output of barrels; currently the country refines 445,000 a day, a total reached by four operational refineries.
“Having a functional refinery is a good thing for Nigeria and Nigerians”, added Ateba.
“It will make it possible for crude oil to be refined here in Nigeria and may put a stop to gargantuan corruption taking place in the name of fuel subsidy”.
Nigeria, the continent’s second largest economy, still relies on subsidised imports for its fuel – 80 per cent, according to government statistics.
Aliko Dangote, who made his fortune through cement manufacturing, food processing and other enterprises, has seen his wealth exponentially increase over the last three years.
According to Forbes, in 2010 he was worth $2.1bn and is now valued at $16.1bn.
The businessman’s refinery venture seeks to establish the first fully operational one in Nigeria – the four existing ones do not function at full capacity.
By: Bart Chan