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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Nigeria to Stop Importing Petrol Next Month, Says Dangote

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Africa’s richest man and Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has announced that Nigeria will cease importing gasoline next month, following the strategic plans of the Dangote Refinery. This major shift comes as Dangote revealed that his refinery has the capacity to supply West Africa’s petrol and diesel needs, as well as the continent’s aviation fuel demand.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali on Friday, Dangote expressed optimism about the transformative impact his refinery will have on 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 stated.Dangote

Progress and Ambitions of the Dangote Refinery

Dangote outlined the significant progress made by the company to ensure energy self-sufficiency for Africa. He emphasized the refinery’s capability to meet not only Nigeria’s demands but also those of West and Central Africa. “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,” he said.

Moreover, Dangote highlighted the refinery’s production of essential raw materials. “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 a 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.”Nigeria to Stop Importing Petrol Next Month, Says Dangote

Future Plans for Self-Sufficiency

Dangote is confident that within the next few years, Africa will no longer need to import fertilizer. “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,” he affirmed.

Achievements Since the Refinery’s Commissioning

Reflecting on the achievements since the refinery’s commissioning in February, Dangote noted the significant milestones reached. “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.”Nigeria to Stop Importing Petrol Next Month, Says Dangote

The Need for Change in Africa

Dangote underscored the necessity for Africa to produce finished products rather than just raw materials. “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.”

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He warned against the consequences of exporting raw materials while importing finished goods. “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.

Overcoming Challenges and Looking Ahead

Dangote acknowledged the challenges faced during the refinery’s construction, particularly from those resistant to change. “The pushback was very impactful because there are people who have actually been used to just making money trading without refinery. 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 are 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.”

Despite skepticism from many, Dangote emphasized the importance of perseverance and belief in success. “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.”

Call for Policy Consistency

Finally, Dangote highlighted policy inconsistency as a major challenge for African entrepreneurs and called for support from leaders to ensure ease of trading across the continent. The successful completion and operation of the Dangote Refinery mark a significant milestone in Africa’s journey towards energy self-sufficiency and economic growth.

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