African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has described the Dangote refinery and fertiliser plants as projects that would positively affect Africa’s economic growth and development.
Mr Adesina noted that the projects could address Nigeria’s foreign exchange deficits and save about $9 billion yearly from petroleum products imports.
Mr Adesina made the assertion on Sunday in a statement from his tour of the Dangote facilities over the weekend.
He said the project, far beyond the expectations of his team, was the best industrialised project to happen to Africa.
“One of the things I admire the most about Alhaji Dangote is that he actually believes in Nigeria and Africa and invests his money in Nigeria and Africa,” he added. “Dangote is quite an inspirational and visionary business leader, and for anybody to have done what I have seen here, I think that person deserves world-class kudos for that… I see a company that I will proudly call Africa’s growth accelerator company.”
He also mentioned that AfDB “see an acceleration of how to reduce imports, have an outbound on export; a value chain development and how to compete regionally and globally.
“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,” the AfDB president explained. “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.”
He further noted that “talking to them here, they showed us that they can have a domestic market of about $11 billion, and that is an incredible market.”
“So this is huge for Nigeria and even for Africa as a continent,” said Mr Adesina.
On the fertiliser complex, Mr Adesina noted that the three million metric tons of urea would make Nigeria totally self-sufficient and become a net exporter of fertilisers.
“It will drive productivity growth in Nigeria, prices will come down, and the quality will also improve,” he stated.