Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has a new oil refinery that is expected to be a game-changer for Nigeria’s economy and the country’s energy sector. Nigeria has to import nearly all of its refined petroleum products, despite being a major oil-producing nation, which is a significant drain on the country’s foreign reserves.
A recent Reuters article reports that the Dangote refinery will be commissioned in late May by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. This project started in 2016 and has seen years of delays and money issues. It launched with an estimated $12 billion dollars in investments but now the costs have swelled to nearly $20 billion dollars.
With the commissioning of the Dangote oil refinery, Nigeria will not only become self-sufficient in refined petroleum products but also be able to export the surplus to other countries. This will create new opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and foreign exchange earnings for the country – it will also add more money to Mr. Dangote’s net worth which stands at over $13 billion dollars.
Furthermore, the Dangote oil refinery is expected to improve the quality of refined petroleum products in Nigeria, which will have a positive impact on the environment and the health of Nigerians. The construction of the refinery has also provided a boost to Nigeria’s local content development agenda, as it has created job opportunities and supported local businesses in the construction and supply chain sectors.
Though long overdue, this project does have the opportunity to make a real impact on the Nigerian economy and will help Nigeria become more self-sufficient in the energy sector.