The board of directors of African Development Bank (AfDB), in statement on Wednesday, said it has approved a $300 million loan facility for Dangote Group to enable the conglomerate to boost fuel supply and fertiliser production in Nigeria.
The loan was approved for Dangote Industries Ltd., for the construction and operation of a Greenfield crude oil refinery and a Greenfield fertiliser manufacturing plant.
Both projects would be produced for the consumption of Nigerians and neighbouring African countries. The project, the statement said, would allow Nigeria, which currently relies on imported petroleum products and fertiliser, to progressively become self-sufficient, transform into a major exporter and support job creation.
It said the projects would add value to local natural resources, double the country’s refining capacity and reduce the current imports of fuel into Nigeria by about 80 per cent.
“The projects are expected to help Nigeria on forex savings of $65 billion through import substitution and provide revenues for the government (taxes and fees).
“The projects will also create over 30,000 temporary jobs during construction and 2,900 direct jobs during operations.
“The projects will complement bank’s ongoing effort to support the Federal Government in the implementation of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda,” it said.
According to the statement, the oil industry in Nigeria contributes a large share to the Gross Domestic Product and accounts for the bulk of the Federal Government’s revenue and foreign exchange earnings.
The statement said the country, which was the first crude oil producer in Africa with about 2.2 million barrels per day, had become an importer of refined petroleum and fertiliser products.
It said that Dangote Group, which started as an importer of finished products in 1970s was now a diversified conglomerate with business interests in the manufacturing sector.