The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has lamented volatility at the global money market as the installation cost of Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant has ballooned by more than 100 per cent to $15billion.
Emefiele, who stated this on Saturday at the project site in Lekki, Lagos, encouraged other Nigerians to emulate the business mogul for refusing to be cowed by such challenge.
His words: “We need to really thank Alhaji Aliko Dangote for his determination; for the large heart, this is not projects that ordinary person could have ever contemplated. As you can see, it comprises fertiliser, the second largest fertilizer plant in the world; the petrochemicals as well as the refinery. These projects in themselves, when they were contemplated about five years ago, were almost close to about $7 to $9 billion. After the adjustments in currency and some of the things that were not contemplated that are now part of these projects. You can imagine how much it is today. Perhaps not less than $15 billion.”
Emefiele said the inspection tour was his third in recent times, said:
“CBN is interested in the project for two reasons: Mr President has come up and said at this time that the economy is going through its own challenges there is a need for us to diversify the base of the Nigerian economy from oil into other areas where we can earn revenue. The fertiliser plant, you must have seen the place and other , will start commercial production in May. Three years ago, when I talked about this complex and this project, people thought that we were joking. Nigeria had always been an importer of fertiliser. You guys know about fertiliser scandals in Nigeria. Mr. president, in his wisdom, came up and said: “we would no longer import fertiliser!”
This particular fertiliser plant of Aliko Dangote is 10 times that of Notore, that is about 300,000, but Aliko’s own is about three million tonnes per annum that will generate $1 billion. Not only that, about 25 per cent of it would be used for our domestic consumption to help in our agriculture transformation and the rest of them. Seventy five per cent will be exported and we would earn a minimum of about $750 million per annum, only from fertiliser.
“The second project is the refinery, a 650,000 barrels per day capacity that will not only satisfy local consumption, but also position Nigeria as a major exporter of petroleum products. And let me say this: We should just be praying for good health for this gentleman because I know the cost of freight from Nigeria, Nigeria is so central that this refinery would serve the whole of Africa. And you can imagine the cheap cost of freight, which means this project is strategically positioned that it would even make the final price of petroleum within and outside Nigeria to be lower than those import alternatives that come from different parts of the world.
“Petrochemicals! It is going to produce petrochemicals. Today, we import practically almost all our polypropylene granules and polyethylene. This plant will produce polypropylene granules and polyethylene. Everything you produce that has a plastic base would be produced from this plant to satisfy not only domestic consumption but also export.”
President of Dangote Group of Companies, Aliko Dangote, praised Emefiele for keeping down lending rates and explained that the plants would create thousands of jobs for Nigerians.
His words:“Right now, have reached over 48 per cent, but majority of the equipment, when they come, are just going to be installed. We have done all the foundations, as you have seen, and first of all, we want to thank the the (CBN) Governor and the Deputy Governor for visiting here just to justify all the helps they have been giving to us.