Dangote is the president and chief executive officer of Dangote Industries Limited, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa. According to Forbes, Dangote’s net worth was $24.6 billion as of 4/4/2014.
Dangote saw an opportunity in Nigeria’s low refining capacity and he is now building what would be Nigeria’s and Africa’s largest petroleum refinery.
The refinery, which Dangote hopes will be completed by 2016, will initially have a capacity of 400,000 bpd, saving the country as much as $24bn a year in foreign exchange, he says, by more than halving fuel imports.
Dangote, a graduate of Business Studies from the Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt, started business in 1978 trading in rice, sugar and cement, before he ventured into full-scale manufacturing.
Dangote had said that the Nigeria’s ability to import fuel would soon be challenged. “In five years, when our population is over 200 million, we won’t have the infrastructure to receive the amount of fuel we use. It has to be done;’ a recent Reuters report quoted him as saying.
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer, but still relies heavily on imported refined petroleum products for the servicing of its economy, creating a lucrative market for European refiners and oil traders at the expense of the Nigerian masses.
The country has four refineries with a combined capacity of around 445,000 bpd or 70.75 million litre per day, but they operate well below full capacity owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption.
In September 2013, a significant milestone towards the construction the refinery complex w, reached, with the significant milestone towards the construction the refinery complex was reached, with the signing of a term loan between Dangote Group and consortium of local and foreign banks for the financing of the project. Dangote industries clinched a $3.3 billion syndicated loan from banks, which will augment its equity contribution of $3.50 billion.
The proposed refinery would double Nigeria’s refining capacity as well as cut imports of refined petroleum.
Dangote, who turned 57 last week, is planning to acquire a stake in a gas field owned by Anglo-Dutch multinational energy giant Shell. Dangote Industries reportedly submitted the highest bid for Shell’s stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 at an auction organized last year in the Niger Delta region.