27 June 2016, Lagos – Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has clarified that his refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser plant did not collect as much foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as some people have speculated, stressing that his company raised a substantial part of the forex being used in the execution of the multi-billion dollar project.sThis is coming as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has described the refinery, fertilizer, petrochemical and gas pipeline project being executed by Dangote Group at a cost of $17 billion, as the largest single project in the world.
*Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group.
“We also brought $300 million capital to start the work. So we brought quite a substantial amount of our own money,” Dangote explained.
Obviously not amused by media reports alleging that his company received $161 million in 11 weeks from the CBN, the foremost industrialist argued that the amount was even insufficient when compared to the amount of foreign funds his companies use to run their operations.
“Yes, I don’t want to dispute the figures but even if we got $161 million in 11 weeks – 11 weeks is roughly three months; but we need about $98 to $100 million every month for the operations of Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar, Dangote Cement and diesel to fuel our 9,000 trucks.
“We are a company that minds its business and we don’t complain. When the exchange rate was moved from N197 to N280, we lost $420 million and that is almost N50 billion,” he added.
Dangote described himself as a proud Nigerian with no house or even a single block outside Nigeria.
“Yes, I have money but I don’t have properties or even a house outside Nigeria. Wherever I go, I stay in an hotel. This means that every amount of money we make here, we throw it back into the country. That is why we are doing all these,” Dangote said.
He recalled that the issue of forex allocation to his company arose after the CBN governor visited the project site and described it as the future of Nigeria and also promised that the central bank would render whatever assistance the refining and petrochemical project required.