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Progress in renewable energy may render Dangote refinery unsustainable – Expert

Nigeria is in the process of building the world’s biggest oil refinery. Many locals hope it will contribute to alleviating poverty in the country. Aliko Dangote’s idea is to produce 650,000 barrels of oil a day and refine it in Nigeria to end the country’s dependence on oil imports. The estimated cost of the project is $10.5 billion. More than half of it is financed out of Dangote’s own pocket. But some experts feel the project may not be sustainable.

Akpan Ekpo in particular is skeptical. The Director-General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management in Lagos sees a future for Nigeria beyond oil. “The oil as we are aware is no longer that sustainable going forward, alternative energy sources are being developed every day,” he said.

A $150 million loan for Dangote’s Refinery project was granted by World Bank’s IFC. The World Bank says this loan was “designed to help Nigeria increase the value addition of its natural resources sector, specifically through fertilizers.”

Ekpo says the World Bank should have invested the money in ensuring stable electricity supplies in Nigeria. “The problem I have is that the petroleum industry is an enclave, it does not generate many jobs — in Nigeria we need industries that create jobs.”

Some Nigerians believe their lives will change once the oil refinery is in place. But experts point out that when it’s operational, low and medium-skilled jobs are bound to vanish. Nigeria is aiming to transform its stagnant economy. But if it does not connect to other industries, it won’t be able to do so.

Source: Deutsche Welle