Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote needs about $1.1 billion (N900 billion) to complete his refinery in Lagos according to American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings.
The refinery which was expected to be ready in 2019 was delayed due to the adverse effect of coronavirus in the country.
Fitch Ratings in its report in May disclosed that Dangote invested all of his money and borrowed additional funds to finance the refinery.
According to Fitch, Dangote Industries Limited was planning to establish a local bond worth $750 million to partially fund the remaining part of the project.
The agency stated, “Funding for the completion of the refinery project is expected to be partly covered by proceeds of the new bond.”
It further detailed that the refinery’s existing creditors will not be able to give the organisation the amount needed for the completion of the project “if the transaction is not successful or should completion cost overrun or market conditions in the cement or urea deteriorate materially.”
Fitch noted that Dangote Industries suffered from weak corporate governance, adding that having Mr Dangote as CEO and main shareholder will pose a lot of risk to the operations of the organisation.
President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is depending on the refinery to turn around the economy of the country.
The Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed last year described the project as a game-changer to conserve foreign exchange by ending importation of petroleum products, creating employment and generating foreign exchange through the export of finished products.
He further stated that with the total investment above $19 billion in the refinery and $2.5 billion on the Dangote Fertiliser Plant, the company was leading Nigeria’s industrial revolution.
The AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina speaking on the project said, “I am completely blown away with what I saw here today as this project will reverse the huge sum the nation spends on foreign exchange.
“When you look at how much we import, it is about $57 billion worth of different products, and we export only about $50.4 billion, so we have to balance that with about $7 billion.”