The refinery and fertilizer projects of Dangote Industries Limited is expected to create a minimum of 235,000 new jobs, both direct and indirect jobs, as it becomes operational in the first quarter of 2019.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, who revealed this yesterday, also stated that the projects would cost a minimum of $17 billion.
Dangote said the $12 billion refinery would have a capacity of 650,000 barrels a day. He assured that there will be market for the refined products because even in Africa, only three countries have effective functioning refinery with others importing from abroad.
Dangote named the countries with refinery as Egypt, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, saying “Our refinery will be ready in the first quarter of 2019. Mechanical completion will be end of 2018 but we will start producing in 2019.”
When the projects fully take off in 2019, Dangote said it would help the country save $5 billion spent on the importation of oil into the country.
The refinery, petrochemicals and fertilizer in one spot according to him is the single largest stream in the world. “This site is the biggest site in the world, the refinery is the biggest single refinery in the world, the petrochemicals is 13 times bigger than Eleme Petrochemicals while the fertilizer plant will be 10 times bugger than former National Fertilizer Company. He explained that the project with the $2 billion fertilizer unit was the funded through loans, export credit agencies and our own equity.
Dangote explained that the diversification of Nigeria economy was long over-due and that one sector that Nigeria can focuses on to rejuvenate the economy is agriculture.
He stated that his investment in fertilizer is one sure way the diversification into agriculture could succeed because according to him, it will amount to little if focus is directed to agriculture and fertilizers would be imported.
He said: “Agriculture is the way to go, but a critical component of that sector is fertilizers, Nigeria has more arable land than China which now is the biggest economy in the world, we can tap into our vast land and produce what we need and even export the remaining.
“By the time we complete this project, there will be opportunity to take on agriculture and say bye to poverty, because there will be jobs, no sector has more job potential than agriculture”
Dangote said the project was an ambitious one and that when completed it will give Nigeria a new economic direction in the quest for diversification of the economy, as excess products would be imported to give Nigeria the much needed foreign exchange. That is when diversification starts.