Dangote Group Targets $30 Billion Revenue and Expansion into Steel Industry

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### Aliko Dangote Announces Major Progress in Repaying Refinery Loans Amid Sabotage Attempts

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Africa’s richest individual and founder of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, revealed yesterday that he has already repaid about $2.4 billion of the $5.5 billion loan he secured to construct his $19 billion refinery near Lagos.

Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAN) and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas, Dangote shared that various entities, both local and foreign, attempted to sabotage the 650,000 barrels per day facility. Despite widespread skepticism about the project’s viability, he credited Afreximbank and Nigeria’s Access Bank for their crucial support, emphasizing that the project would not have succeeded without them.

Dangote highlighted the vital role of financial institutions like the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and Afreximbank in industrializing Africa, as they understand the continent’s unique challenges. He criticized foreign banks for their lack of interest in supporting African growth, noting some tried to force his company into loan default during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We borrowed the money based on our balance sheet, a little over $5.5 billion, and faced significant interest payments due to project delays from land and sand-filling issues. We began in earnest in 2018 and have now repaid about $2.4 billion, leaving $2.7 billion,” he said.

Regarding crude oil supplies from International Oil Companies (IOCs), Dangote mentioned resistance from those accustomed to easy profits, indicating they would fight back against losing such opportunities. He acknowledged the pushback as temporary, expressing confidence that the refinery’s necessity for Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa would prevail.

Dangote described the opposition from oil mafias as unexpectedly intense, comparing them to drug mafias in their strength and persistence. Nonetheless, he affirmed his determination to succeed, stating, “I’ve been fighting all my life, and I believe the population and the government will support us.”

He also pointed out the lack of support from Western entities, recounting how some international banks aimed to push his company into default during the pandemic, a scenario prevented by Afreximbank’s support.

Currently, 25 percent of Dangote’s fertilizer is exported to the U.S., with the capability to meet the Caribbean’s urea needs fully. He noted Nigeria’s dangerous lack of strategic oil reserves, which the Dangote refinery aims to rectify, assuring a strategic reserve for petroleum products.

Dangote criticized the importation of low-quality fuels into Nigeria, which pose significant health risks. Looking ahead, he projected that Dangote Group aims for revenues exceeding $30 billion and plans to enter the steel industry to ensure domestic production meets national needs.

He urged Africans to rely on domestic investment to attract foreign investment, underscoring that no foreign entity would prioritize Africa’s development over its own interests. The Dangote Group currently produces 1,500 megawatts of power for its operations, avoiding strain on the national grid.

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