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Dangote refinery will help Nigeria save $10bn forex — Minister

-By Kenny Folarin

The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said that Dangote Refinery would help the country save $10bn foreign exchange when completed.

It would be recalled that the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Ltd, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, recently said the refinery will be ready for commissioning at the beginning of 2021 with full capacity reached by the end of half of the year.

Ahmed, who stated this during a visit to the site of the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertiliser Projects at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, over the weekend, commended the company’s continued investment in the country.

According to Ahmed “this is a very important project – one of the largest refineries in the world today. Mr. President is very proud of this project and we speak about it everywhere we go in terms of the number of jobs which it is creating and the good that it will be bringing to our economy,” she said.

The minister said the refinery, when completed, would enable the country to stop importing petroleum products, adding, “and for us in government, that is a saving of at least $10bn that will be sitting in our reserves instead of flying out to pay for petroleum products”.

She said further that “in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, we have had the opportunity to interface with your company (Dangote Group) at different times to provide you with some clearance you required as you bring in equipment and as you move from one step to another, and I used to be alarmed at some of the size of the requests. But now, I do understand that this is very big and it is very important for this country”.

Meanwhile, the President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the group’s revenue would increase from $4bn to $30bn after the completion of the projects in 2021, adding that it is aimed to become one of the major suppliers of foreign exchange in Nigeria.

“We have the Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertiliser plants coming on stream; we have over a million tonnes of rice; we have about 600,000 tonnes of locally made sugar, and our cement business would have grown further – we are finishing by the end of this year or the beginning of January next year, our eight-million export facility. What we are trying to do is to totally turn around the company,” he added.