DANGOTE Industries Limited (DIL) Wednesday sealed a $3.3 billion (N512 billion) financing deal with 12 local and international banks, for the construction of the biggest petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical/fertiliser plants in the country.
The syndicated fund is part of the $9 billion (N1.4 trillion) total cost for the plants, scripted to sustain the diversification agenda of DIL.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Standard Chartered Bank led the consortium of financial institutions in the fund syndication deal. Others are Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Ecobank Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa, United Bank for Africa, FirstRand Bank of South Africa, First City Monument Bank and Diamond Bank.
The plants, which are expected to generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, will reduce the nation’s fuel importation volume by 50 per cent and “effectively stop the importation of fertiliser.”
Yesterday’s signing ceremony has committed the first tranche of loans secured by Dangote, comprising a $3.3 billion medium-term loan facility supported by the consortium and GTBank as the local co-ordinator and Standard Chartered Bank as the global co-ordinator.
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said at the signing ceremony that “with a refining capacity of the proposed refinery, which is expected to reach 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day and producing a variety of refined fuel products from local crude resources, Nigeria will cut its current volumes of imported fuel products by a massive 50 per cent.”
Dangote said: “The 2.8 million tonnes of urea will be channelled into growing the local agriculture sector, which is essential in producing healthy crops and promoting Nigeria and West Africa’s agricultural development.
Earlier, during Alhaji Dangote’s thank you visit to Aso Rock, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged his administration’s implementation of policies and measures that would continuously improve the operating environment for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian economy.
Dangote alongside some notable Nigerian investors expressed appreciation to the President for providing the necessary investment-friendly environment, assuring that it was the desire of the conglomerate to ensure that Nigeria changed her status of a net importer of the petroleum product to that of a net exporter of the product by 2016.
The President applauded Dangote Group’s refinery, petro-chemicals and fertiliser manufacturing complex in Nigeria while expressing Federal Government’s appreciation of the great support being given by Nigeria’s private sector to the implementation of his administration’s agenda for national transformation.
“The petrochemical plant will produce polypropylene, which is a common component of most plastic and fabric products, for example it is used in various forms of packaging, ropes and agro-sacks.
“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 fertiliser. As a result, several African nations will be less reliant on importing fuel and fertiliser from foreign markets, reducing the negative impact of negotiating terms within increasingly turbulent international markets.”
Meanwhile, officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by its Vice Chairman, Comrade Issa Aremu, commended the decision by the Dangote Group, owned by business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for blazing the trail in re-industrialising Africa through an unprecedented $9 billion investment in oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria.
The union leaders stated that the African organised labour and the members were excited and impressed over the bold corporate decision by the Dangote Group.