African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina has described the Dangote oil refinery and petrochemical plant projects as a “breakthrough initiative” that will boost Africa’s development and deepen integration regional.

On Saturday, the head of the continent’s premier development bank visited Nigeria’s new $19.5 billion crude oil refinery and petrochemical production plant owned by Dangote Industries Limited. The Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, located in the Lekki Free Zone, covers an area of ​​approximately 2,635 hectares.

In 2014, the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved a $300 million loan to Dangote Industries Limited to support the construction and operation of the crude oil refinery and fuel manufacturing plant. fertilizer. The two facilities are expected to create 38,000 jobs during construction

Adesina said, “Dangote Group is a ‘growth accelerator in Africa…I am completely blown away by the scale of what I see here. It is a world-class industrial complex that will make Nigeria and Africa proud. At the African Development Bank, we are proud of this project. Every African country must have an Aliko Dangote to help the continent industrialize.”

He added, “The success of Dangote demonstrates that governments must prioritize industrialization. We must continue to support the private sector, given the value it brings.

The oil refinery and petrochemical plant projects are examples of the African Development Bank’s strategy to foster industrialization through enhanced natural resource processing and exports, as well as support to accelerate indigenous African entrepreneurship.

Adesina said the African private sector was crucial to the execution of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According to Dangote Group Chairman and Managing Director, Aliko Dangote, the refinery, which has the capacity to supply 100% of Nigeria’s refined product needs with a surplus for export, is the largest single-train oil refinery. in the world, with a processing capacity of 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It is estimated that by 2023, Nigeria will import no petroleum products – compared to around $50 billion of current petroleum product imports per year.

The refinery includes a 440 million liter water treatment tank farm and a built housing estate for 50,000 employees and their families on site.

Dangote said, “We appreciate the support from the Nigerian government, our lenders and development finance institutions like the African Development Bank, without whom we would not have come this far. encourage us.”

The successful completion of the refinery project is expected to have a significant impact on Nigeria’s foreign exchange through import substitution and substantial revenue savings. Officials explained that the refinery will be commissioned by the end of the year.

Adesina and Dangote discussed the potential for collaboration between the African Development Bank and Dangote Industries Limited to expand their business to other African countries. A possible collaboration could include the creation of an African industrial manufacturing corps made up of engineers and other technicians who built the refinery. Adesina said this would be invaluable for skill sharing across the continent.

Devakumar Edwin, Dangote Group’s Executive Director for Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, described the fertilizer plant as “Africa’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex”. .

He said the fertilizer plant has two production lines, each producing 2,200 tons of ammonia and 4,000 tons of granulated urea every day. The first train was built and deployed in the second quarter of 2021. Over 300,000 tons of urea were produced and sold in the fourth quarter of 2021, mainly in export markets. The second production train is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2022. The plant now makes Nigeria a net fertilizer exporter.

Adesina said the African Development Bank will continue to work with the Dangote Group to do more for Africa. He said the Bank’s industrialization strategy included identifying and supporting “African regional champions” like the Dangote Group.

He added that the African Bank was ready to help the Dangote Group in areas such as agriculture – including rice and dairy – as well as the expansion of cement into other countries.

Adesina accompanied on the visit the African Development Bank’s Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, the Bank’s Managing Director for its Nigeria Country Office, Lamin Barrow , and the President’s Special Adviser on Industrialization, Professor Banji Oyelaran. -Oyeyinka.

Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Femi Otedola also attended the meeting.