I Was Warned Against Building Refinery — Dangote

Nigerian businessman, industrialist and CEO of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said he was warned not to embark on his refinery project.

In an interview posted on the Business Elites Africa X handle, Dangote said he decided to go ahead with the project because he felt they were only trying to discourage him.

The 67-year-old billionaire admitted that if he knew he would go through a lot constructing the refinery, he wouldn’t have ventured into it.

“If I’m going to do this now, I’m going to do it better because I’ve learnt from experience,” Dangote said.

“But if I knew what I was going to go through, I wouldn’t have tried it. People warned me about going into this, but I thought they were only trying to discourage me.”

He disclosed that there are other countries in Africa that have been trying to build refineries but have not been able to.

“There has not been a refinery in the last 35 years, and the reasons are money, political will, and also people who are benefiting from this whole stuff of importing petroleum products into Africa are actually discouraging those governments from building a refinery.

“They (the governments) won’t get the loans anyway because they don’t have strong banks; the international banks would not support anything like this.”

On industrialising Africa and creating a more connected Africa, Dangote believes that can be done, but Africans must focus and believe they are the ones who can deliver, and Africans are the only ones who can develop Africa.

“If Africans are waiting for foreign investors to come and develop Africa, it will never happen,” he said.

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Dangote unveiled early plans for the refinery in September 2013, when he announced that he had secured about $3.3 billion in financing for the project.

At the time, the refinery was estimated to cost about $9 billion, of which $3 billion would be invested by the Dangote Group and the remainder via commercial loans, and begin production in 2016.

However, after a change in location to Lekki, construction of the refinery did not begin until 2016 with excavation and infrastructure preparation, and the planned completion was pushed back to late 2018.

The refinery was commissioned in May 2023 under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari and is expected to enable Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency in refined products and have a surplus for export…..See More

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