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Emefiele hails Dangote for activating oil refinery, lauds Nigerian banks for support

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

*Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, declares the successful inauguration of the multibillion Dollar Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals Complex indicates that Nigeria can be ‘self-sufficient in all products that we consume and at the same time export excess output to the rest of the world’

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Following landmark inauguration of the multibillion Dollar Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals Company Monday, May 22, 2023, in Lagos, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), on the successful completion of the 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery project.

ConsumerConnect reports  Emefiele, in his address at the commissioning, said the new oil-refining facility would not only aid Nigeria’s domestic petrol needs, but also help in generating export revenues for the country.

The Governor of CBN disclosed that “in September 2013, when Alhaji Aliko Dangote announced his plans for the refinery, it was estimated to cost about US$9 billion, of which US$3 billion was projected as equity investment by the Dangote Group and the balance financed through commercial loans.

“Due to an array of factors, the project was eventually completed with a total of US$18.5 billion with funding distributed into 50 percent equity investment and 50 percent debt finance.”

Emefiele stated: “I am proud to state that the commercial loan component of the project was financed majorly by our domestic banks with the balance sourced from foreign banks.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria also partnered, as always, with the Dangote Group in ensuring the successful completion of the project by providing about N125 billion, to cover domestic currency requirements for the venture.”

He also noted: “What you may not be fully aware of, Your Excellencies, is that the Dangote Group has started repaying some of the commercial loans even before the commissioning of this facility.

“This reflects the commercial capability of the Group and its Chairman.

“I am pleased to inform everyone today that, following extensive repayments, outstanding debt has dropped appreciably from over US$9 billion to US$3 billion.”

The CBN Governor as well applauded the Nigerian banks, saying they did not only partner on the project through effective financing but were keenly aware of the importance of the project for our nation.

“They provided immense support and exceptional understanding, even when interest payments and principal repayment had fallen due,” said he.

Emefiele attributed the successful completion of the refinery to President Buhari’s astute vision to ensure that Nigeria produces what Nigerians consume and that we consume what we produce.

The CBN Chief remarked: “The refinery and petrochemicals project by the Dangote Group is a testament to your vision for Nigeria.

“It shows that, regardless of what the world thinks, Nigeria can be self-sufficient in all products that we consume and at the same time export our excess output to the rest of the world.”

Emefiele noted “aside from enumerating our strategic efforts in the agriculture and other critical sectors, a sterling projects that we highlighted was the gigantic Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical project.

“The world doubted our willpower to succeed with this project.”

Emefiele added: “In hindsight, I could appreciate their skepticism because they do not understand how a single individual could build a refinery capable of serving an entire nation.

“To them, projects of this magnitude are usually only undertaken by sovereigns not individuals.”

NNPC excited about partnership with Dangote -Kyari

Speaking at the commissioning also Monday, Malam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, said the state oil firm is happy to partner with Dangote Refinery because the project has potential for smooth supply of petroleum.

Kyari stated that it would guarantee healthy competition for the benefits of the country’s economy.

According to the GCEO, the NNPC Limited is committed to value addition to the potential of the project.

The new Petroleum Industry Act will provide security of supply of refined products and protect the plant, said he. The NNPC Group Chief Executive expressed his  happiness that the refinery is coming on board at a time the subsidy on imported petroleum products has become unbearable for the Nigerian Government.

In their respective goodwill messages on the occasion in Lagos, Presidents of Ghana, Senegal, Niger, Benin Republic and Chad expressed satisfaction that the Dangote Refinery will serve the West African region, and that their countries would be beneficiaries.

According to the visiting Presidents, the newly completed and commissioned Dangote Refiner is an African company for Africa by an African entrepreneur.

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