50% of Nigeria’s crude to be refined internally– Dangote

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote said he wants 50% of Nigeria’s crude to be refined internally by 2021.

He said his target in the next five years or so from now is to have half of Nigeria’s crude refined locally rather than just been exported as crude to go and create jobs elsewhere, the Nigerian cement tycoon said after touring the construction site of his refinery over the weekend.

The refinery, which would be complemented by petrochemical, gas & fertilizer projects by Aliko Dangote at Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) in Lagos is expected to be completed in 2018 and to start operations the following year.

“The plant will be ready in the first quarter of 2019, mechanical completion will be end of 2018 but we will start producing in 2019,” the billionaire founder of Dangote Cement said.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation imports 80 percent of its fuel. Poor maintenance has also resulted in a situation where its four refineries never reach full output.

The country has been bedeviled by fuel shortages in recent times. The International Energy Agency said current daily fuel consumption is 260,000 barrels in the West African nation.

Dangote owns Dangote Cement Plc, the country’s biggest company by market value, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Dangote Industries Ltd. and Dangote Oil Services Ltd.