Mr. Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that the Dangote Group has paid 70 percent of the loans it obtained from the bank to construct its oil refinery.
Emiefele who disclosed this at the commissioning of the refinery on Monday, said the refinery was initially estimated to cost just about $9 billion but the project cost escalated and was eventually completed with a total of $18.5 billion
He mentioned the commercial loan component of the project was financed majorly by domestic banks while the rest was made available by foreign banks.
According to him, the CBN also provided about N125 billion for domestic currency requirements while also ensuring the availability of foreign exchange (FX) to pay for imported equipment.
He said, “We have it on good authority that the Dangote Group has paid off some portion of these commercial loans even before this commissioning today.
“Today, total loans outstanding have dropped from over $9 billion when this project started to N2.7 billion. This reflects the astute credit-worthiness and commercial capability of the group and its chairman, Alhaji Dangote.
“I must at this juncture appreciate all the participating local Nigerian banks, who did not only partner with 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.”
Emefiele expressed optimism that Nigeria, under the incoming administration, will stop importing petroleum products, fertiliser and petrochemicals and save the country over $26 billion.
The CBN governor noted that the refinery will impact Nigeria economy and help the country generate 12, 000 more Megawatts of electricity, while also stating that over 135,000 permanent jobs will be available to Nigerians as operations get underway.
According to him, the facility is also expected that the refinery saves Nigeria between $25 billion and $30 billion in forex annually.
Emefiele noted that like a venture that continues to give, the refinery will further give the economy an inflow of $10billion yearly.
He described the Dangote Refinery is an indication that Nigeria can produce whatever it needs.
The refinery is expected to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day and transforms crude oil into different usage of petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and kerosene.
The refinery will produce Euro-V quality gasoline and diesel, as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.