Nigeria to reduce reliance on fuel imports

By 2016 Nigeria and other African nations will be "less reliant" on the importation of fuel, Africa's richest man and President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko, Dangote has said.

The Dangote Group is planning to build "Africa's largest refinery, petrochemicals and fertilizer manufacturing complex" in Nigeria, with a loan secured from a consortium of 12 local and international banks providing a total of $3.3 billion credit facility for the project.

The project, expected to be completed in 2016, will lower Africa's dependence on international market.

"The plants, which will cost a total of $9 billion, will generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, in addition to reducing current volumes of refined fuel imports by around 50 percent and will effectively stop the importation of fertilizer," the group said in a statement.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer but has to import most of its fuel as it lacks refining capacity.

Dangote Group says it is still seeking an additional $2.5 billion in development funds to augment the $3.5 billion of its own equity put into the project.

Aliko Dangote said: "This plant will further entrench Africa's role on the global map as not only a valued contributor for natural resources, but also a competent manufacturer of refined products and fertilizer. As a result, several African nations will be less reliant on importing fuel and fertilizer from foreign markets, reducing the negative impact of negotiating terms within increasingly turbulent international markets."

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