GOVERNOR of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that Nigerian banks and multilateral lending agencies provided 50 per cent debt finance contributions to the success of the $18.5 billion Dangote refinery.
Emefiele, who made the disclosure on Monday, May 22 at the official commissioning of the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Company in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, said the Dangote Group had made an official 50 per cent equity contribution to the refinery before getting debt finance support from lenders.
He further said that the chief executive officer of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had even been offsetting the debts before today’s commissioning of the facility, and had reduced it to $2.7 billion, from $9 billion.
“Dangote is credit-worthy. Nigerian banks like First Bank and Access Bank played key roles in providing debt finance for the project. The CBN also supported the refinery with a N120 billion loan facility.
Apart from the commercial banks, other multilateral lending agencies that supported the refinery with debt financing included the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim)
Emefiele was positive that the refinery investment, the single largest in the world, would save Nigeria the billions of dollars it had been spending on petrol importation.
“The refinery will save us $26 billion worth of foreign exchange and enable Nigeria meet sufficiency on its local petrol consumptions,” he said.
The Dangote refinery has the capacity to produce 650,000 barrels of crude a day, and meet Nigeria’s local consumption needs.
It is powered by a 435-megawatt power plant.
At full capacity, it can meet 100 per cent of home requirements of all refined products, as well as meet export targets. The refinery was designed to process 100 per cent Nigerian crude, with flexibility to process other varieties of crude, including many of the African crudes, some of the middle eastern crudes, and the United States light tight oil.
Emefiele said that Nigeria would gain $10 billion from foreign exchange in exporting refined products to neighbouring west African countries alone.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.