Nigeria to End Fuel Imports by June, Says Dangote

18th May 2024

Africa’s richest man and Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said that following the laid-down plans of the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria will no longer need to import gasoline starting next month.

Dangote also stated that his refinery could meet West Africa’s petrol and diesel needs, as well as the continent’s aviation fuel demand.

He spoke at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali on Friday, expressing optimism about transforming Africa’s energy landscape.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of a litre,” Dangote declared.

He also outlined progress made by the oil company to ensure that Africa as a continent became self-sufficient when it came to the energy sector.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa, diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa. We have enough aviation fuel to give to the entire continent and also export some to Brazil and Mexico.

“Today, our polypropylene and our polyethene will meet the entire demand of Africa and we are doing base oil, which is like engine oil, we are doing linear benzyl, which is raw material to produce detergent. We have 1.4 billion people in the population, nobody is producing that in Africa.

“So, all the raw materials for our detergents are imported. We are producing that raw material to make Africa self-sufficient.

“As I said, give us three or a maximum of four years and Africa will not, I repeat, not import any more fertilizer from anywhere. We will make Africa self-sufficient in potash, phosphate, and urea, we are at three million tonnes and in the next twenty months, we will be at six million tonnes of urea which is the entire capacity of Egypt. We are getting there”, Dangote said.

The Africa’s richest man also went further to outline the achievements of the company since the commissioning of the refinery in February.

“For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market of the US, you know, Google, Microsoft and the rest, we didn’t participate, we took all our money and invested in Africa.

“We had this dream, just about five years ago and we said we want to move from five billion (dollars) revenue to thirty billion revenue and we made it happen. It is possible and now we have made it happen and now we have finished our refinery.

“Our refinery is quite big, it is something that we believe that Africa needs. If you look at the whole continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products which is a tragedy. They are only Algeria and Libya. The rest are all importers,” he said.

Dangote added, “So, we need to change and make sure that we don’t just go and produce raw materials, we should also produce finished products and create jobs.

“One of the things we also need to know as Africans is that we produce raw materials and export them when you export raw materials and somebody now keeps importing things into your continent and dumping goods. what you are importing is poverty and exporting jobs. So, we have to change that narrative.

“We just commissioned in February and now we are producing jet fuel, we are producing diesel and by next month, we will be producing gasoline. What that would do is that we would be taking most of the African crude that is being produced and also be able to supply not only Nigeria, because our capacity is too big for Nigeria, but it would also supply West Africa, Central Africa and also South Africa. We have 650,000 barrels per day, 1 million tonnes of polypropylene, we have 590,000 carbon black, that is the raw materials ink, dyes and co. We are expanding more. This is the first phase and we are going out to the next phase which will start early next year.”

The richest man in Africa also acknowledged the challenges faced in building the refinery, particularly by those accustomed to the status quo.

He said there was pushback, but failure was not an option, even though many people did not believe he would succeed.

“The pushback was very impactful because there are people who have been used to just making money trading without refinery and you know, to get people who are committed to Africa has to be people that believe in investing in Africa because the companies that are operating today are not investing, and some of the issues of stopping that investment is going to impact us, not today but in the future, which means our oil production will continue to go down because in oil unless you keep investing, the production is going to go down.

“So, that is the issue. The major burden on us was that there is no room for failure because we were the EPC contractors and ninety per cent of people never believed that we were going to deliver but we have been able to deliver now,” Dangote added.

Despite these achievements, he identified policy inconsistency as a major challenge for African entrepreneurs and called for a review and support from the leaders to ensure proper ease of trading in the continent.