Dangote speaks on $12bn refinery project, buying Arsenal
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, in the most recent Lunch with the Financial Times (FT), says his $12bn refinery project will make Nigeria the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa, once complete.
He also intends to treat himself to a small indulgence: buying Arsenal, his favourite football club once the project is done.
“When we finish this project, for the first time in history Nigeria will be the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa,” Dangote said.
The refinery will process 650,000 barrels of oil a day, a third of every drop Nigeria produces and approaching 1 per cent of planetary production.
That will make it the biggest oil refinery of its type in the world. It will pump out all the plastic Nigeria’s 190m people need (with an added petrochemical plant), plus 3m tonnes of fertiliser a year.
On Arsenal, a Premiership football team he has long supported, which he reckons is worth about $2bn, Dangote said: “I love Arsenal and I will definitely go for it.”
Long frustrated with the club’s decline under Arsène Wenger, the recently replaced manager, he says that as owner, he would involve himself in rebuilding the team — chipping in his own advice.
“When I buy it, I have to bring it up to the expectations of our supporters.”
But first he has a refinery to build. “When you visit, you’ll see what a headache I am talking about,” he says of the refinery project. “Once I have finished with that headache, I will take on football.”
Read Dangote’s Full Lunch with FT on BusinessDay’s print edition of July 12, 2018
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