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‘Dangote Refinery Will not sell petrol at Regulated Price’

The President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said premium motor spirit (PMS) or petrol that will be refined from Dangote Refinery will not be sold at Federal Government’s regulated price.

This ends the speculation about how much the pump price petrol from the first private refinery will attract when it begins operation next year.

Dangote spoke on the sidelines of the visit of Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele to the refinery in Lagos.

Dangote said though the plan is not to concentrate on export entirely, hes noted that petroleum products from the refinery will be sold at export rate.

He said it is the duty of the Federal Government to determine the price of fuel, adding that he doubts whether fuel subsidy will continue but if it does, the government can engage the company to find a mid-ground on how to tackle the issue of subsidy.

He said: “We are not here to concentrate on export but pricing of products depends entirely on the government. If there will be subsidy, which I doubt very much, that is the job of government not the job of Dangote to determine what the price will be. But price of our export is what we sell, which will depend on what the market is internationally, and locally if there will subsidy, the government will carry that responsibility and not us. Government has to engage us and see how they can find a mid-ground on that.”

On job creation, Dangote said the refinery and petrochemical project is  transformational. Considering that Nigeria depends on importation to meet its fuel consumption needs and the attendant huge subsidy to keep pump price at regulated price of N145 per litre, he said the project will create massive jobs.

According to him, most filling stations don’t sell fuel because of lack of fuel in view of issues around importation, adding that when the refinery begins operation, it will put these filling stations and their workers back to work.

He said: “Currently, more than 26,000 people are working on the project and at the height of the project, the number of workers will soar to about 80,000 people and there will be more than 50,000 workers living internally in the company.”

Emefiele promised the apex bank’s assistance to other refineries’ licencees whose banks can vouch for their credit worthiness.

Emefiele said:  “CBN’s support depends on the company’s capacity. I have not seen any other person that has received government licence to set up a refinery.  In any case, you don’t come directly to CBN, you have to go through your bank and your bank has to assess your capacity to be able to take on the project.

“My suggestion is that if there are people that have interest in CBN’s support, they should go to their banks and if their banks are able to display their credit worthiness to be able access such facility, CBN is ready to support them in naira and dollar that they need to import equipment that will enable them conduct their businesses.

“I have not seen any, if I see any through their banks, I can assure they will receive this kind of support Dangote got from CBN.”

The CBN supported Dangote Refinery, which will cost $9 billion (N75 billion) and the fertiliser plant which will cost $2 billion with N50 billion. The apex bank chief also stated that the refinery and petrochemical project is funded by 60 per cent of Dangote’s equity with the remaining 40 per cent funded by debts from local and foreign banks and CBN’s support.