CEM REPORT, ENERGY | The loan of more than $9 billion used to finance the recently completed Dangote Refinery has been repaid reducing the outstanding to around $2.7 billion.
According to Godwin Emefiele of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), repayment began prior to the refinery’s commissioning.
Emefiele revealed this during his remarks at the Dangote Refinery’s ceremonial commissioning.
He stated that the CBN collaborated with the Dangote Group to ensure the successful completion of the Dangote Refinery project by providing around ₦125 billion to fulfil the venture’s domestic currency requirements.
Emefiele also lauded Nigerian banks for providing financing support to the Dangote Group for its refinery project.
“What you may not be aware of, Your Excellencies is that the Dangote Group has begun repaying some of the commercial loans even before the facility’s commissioning.
“This displays the Group’s and its Chairman’s commercial acumen. I am pleased to inform everyone today that, as a result of extensive repayments, outstanding debt has decreased significantly from more than $9 billion to $2.7 billion.
“At this point, I must thank all of the participating local Nigerian banks, who not only partnered with the Dangote refinery through excellent financing but were also acutely aware of the project’s value to our nation.
“Even when interest payments and principal repayment were past due, they provided enormous support and exceptional understanding.”
Emefiele noted that the CBN’s involvement in the Dangote Refinery project is part of the bank’s efforts to help President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to diversify the economy.
The central bank governor expressed confidence that the country will stop importing petroleum products, fertilizers, and petrochemicals under the upcoming administration, saving the country more than $26 billion.
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“The refinery could save Nigeria between N5 and ₦7 trillion in federal government fiscal expenditure over the next five years.”
President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the refinery on Monday, amid great anticipation that it will have an impact on the nation’s oil and gas sector as well as the overall economy.
The refinery’s pipeline system is touted to be the world’s largest, with 1,100 kilometres of pipe handling 3 billion standard cubic feet of gas every day.