How Oil Mafia Made Efforts To Stop Our Refinery –Dangote

Posted on June 13, 2024

The Chairman of Dangote Refinery, Aliko Dangote has said that attempts were made on several occasions to undermine his $19 billion refinery project in Lagos by both local and foreign criminal organizations, which he referred to as the “mafia.”

During his address at the ongoing Afreximbank Annual Meetings and the AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas, Dangote compared the drug and oil cartels to a more powerful mafia that is determined to keep control of the business, according to The Punch.

He said “Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact.”

Dangote said they tried in many ways to stop him.

“But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. You know, so I think it’s part of my life to fight.

He added, “As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project would just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank.”

Meanwhile, Dangote also revealed that he has successfully repaid approximately $2.4 billion out of the $5.5 billion loan he took to construct his $19 billion refinery.

The Dangote Refinery with a 650,000-barrel refining capacity in optimal production is expected to reduce Nigeria’s over-reliance on imported petroleum products.

Dangote emphasizing that there were doubts about the project’s success, he commended Afreximbank and Nigeria’s Access Bank for their support, highlighting that the project’s vision would not have materialized without them.

He said, “We borrowed the money based on our own balance sheet.  I think we borrowed just over $5.5 billion. But we paid also a lot of interest as we went along, because the project was delayed because of lack of land, also the sand-filling took a long time. Almost five years or so we didn’t do anything.

“We actually started in 2018. We borrowed that much. We have actually, of course, paid interest and some principal, about $2.4 billion. We ‘ve done very well. We now have only about $2.7 billion left to be paid. So we’ve done very well for a project of that magnitude.”

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