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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s Richest Man, Opens New Oil Refinery In Nigeria

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by Paulina Isaac

January 29, 2024

Africa’s wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote, is about to become even richer.

According to Forbes, Dangote’s net worth is $19.6 billion. Now, he’s opening one of the world’s biggest oil refineries in Nigeria. The $19 billion project began in mid-January. The billionaire founder and chairman of the multinational conglomerate, the Dangote Group, opened the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in an effort to help make Nigeria self-sufficient in fuel.

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A post shared by Dangote Group (@dangotegroup)

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The refinery is in the coastal city of Lekki, near Lagos. It had faced years of delays before production began earlier this month. Oil is incredibly important to Nigeria’s economy. In 2020, Dangote said on The David Rubenstein Show that it made up nearly 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and 60 percent of government revenue. However, the country has to import most of its fuel due to its lack of refineries. The Dangote refinery aims to change this by eventually producing up to 650,000 barrels a day.

However, Rafiq Raji, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program, told Business Insider that he’d be “hugely surprised” if the refinery could produce 100,000 barrels a day at first, and was unlikely to operate at full capacity before 2027. “Yields will be hugely suboptimal” at the “current stage of completion,” Raji said, adding that “they’d make more money by simply selling the crude.”

Cover photo: Aliko Dangote/Photo by Bloomberg via Getty Images

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