The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has supported the Dangote Group with N75 billion, in foreign exchange, to import equipment and other facilities to facilitate completion of the company’s refinery.
Governor of the apex bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at the weekend during an inspection tour of the ongoing Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer projects and Dangote deepwater jetty in Lagos.
Emefiele toured the project sites in the company of the President/CE of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Deputy Governor of the CBN, Aishah Ahmad; Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Olakunle Alake; Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries, Mr. Devakumar Edwin; and the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, on Saturday.
The $9 billion Dangote Refinery, which is located within the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, is expected to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) when it starts full operation.
The project, on completion, would also be expected to produce 883 KPTA polypropylene plant, three million tons per annum Urea plant and 1,100 kilometres sub-sea pipeline infrastructure.
Emefiele noted that the project would transform the Nigerian economy from a net-importer of refined petroleum products to a net exporter of petroleum products. He reiterated the CBN’s readiness to ease forex access for other Nigerian companies planning to import equipment for key projects that would boost the nation’s economy.
He said: “I am extremely delighted on the huge investment and massive progress recorded here in Dangote Petrochemical and Fertilizer Refinery.
This shows commitment and readiness for business. “I have said it before that we will also support any Nigerian companies that take interest in construction and manufacturing of goods in Nigeria. CBN will provide funding in terms of foreign exchange and naira to import equipment that will fast track business activities.
“Dangote Group’s $9 billion investment is a reality of an indigenous company’s commitment that is interested in the socio-economic growth of Nigeria. This has made us to support Dangote Group with N75 billion in forex to import equipment and other facilities to ease completion of the refinery.”
The CBN Governor promised continued support for the project. “This is the kind of investment we need in Nigeria that will empower Nigerians and boost our revenue. I am happy that this project by Dangote Group came up in my lifetime.
The Federal Government will continue to support the project and any other projects in the country. The on-going $9 billion refinery investment will enjoy our support, no doubt. “We are doing this to fast track other importation of equipment you will need for a speedy completion of that project and to encourage other Nigerians to follow your lead,” he added.
Emefiele, who noted that the refinery would transform Nigeria’s downstream oil sector, emphasised that the CBN would continue to support projects targeted at improving the socio-economic profile of the country. According to him, “By the time this refinery is completed, it will not only service the needs of our domestic economy, but shore up our international oil investments.
Projects like this and our support will encourage more Nigerians to begin to think like the Dangote Group.“It may interest you to know that we always expend one third of our total foreign exchange obligation to import petroleum products.