The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, described the Dangote refinery and fertilizer plants as projects that would have a positive impact on Africa’s economic growth and development.
Adesina made the claim on Sunday in a statement from his visit to Dangote facilities over the weekend.
He said the project, which far exceeded his team’s expectations, was the best industrialized project to come to Africa.
The chief banker noted that the projects could address Nigeria’s foreign exchange deficits and save the country around $9 billion a year on imports of petroleum products.
He added that the Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, is an enigma, who should be honored for his passion, vision and determination to lift the continent out of the circle of poverty.
This, Adesina explained, Dangote had achieved with his aggressive job creation program in most African countries.
He said, “One of the things I admire the most about Alhaji Dangote is that he really believes in Nigeria and Africa and he invests his money in Nigeria and Africa.
“Dangote is quite an inspiring and visionary business leader and for anyone who has done what I have seen here, I think that person deserves world class kudos for that….
“I see a company that I will proudly call Africa’s Growth Accelerator.
“With this project, we see an acceleration of how to reduce imports, have an exit on export, value chain development and how to be competitive regionally and globally.
“I am completely blown away by what I have seen here today as this project will reverse the huge amount the nation is spending on foreign currency.
“When you look at how much we import, that’s about $57 billion of different products and we only export about $50.4 billion, so we have to balance that with about $7 billion.
“Talking to them here they showed us that they can have a domestic market of around $11 billion and that’s an amazing market so that’s huge for Nigeria and even for Africa as a continent.”
On the fertilizer complex, Adesina noted that the three million metric tons of urea would make Nigeria fully self-sufficient and become a net fertilizer exporter.
“It will boost productivity growth in Nigeria, prices will come down and quality will also improve,” he said.
In response, Dangote disclosed that the refinery would start operating in the third quarter of 2022.
“On mechanical completion we are almost done but we have started hydraulic testing and we are almost 70% off, hopefully before the end of the third quarter operations will start,” he said. .
Additionally, Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said the refinery complex is the largest single-train refinery in the world.
Edwin said the facility contained a refinery, petrochemical plant, fertilizer plant and an undersea pipeline project.
He said the 650,000 barrel per day refinery would boost economic development in Nigeria.
Edwin added that the refinery could supply 100% of Nigeria’s needs for all liquid products (gasoline, diesel, kerosene and aviation jet), and would also have a surplus for export.