Aliko Dangote, Nigeria, oil, refinery

Africa’s Richest Man Opens Multi-Billion Oil Refinery In Nigeria

Nigeria is now home to one of the world's largest oil refineries, built by Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote.

Africa’s wealthiest man, confirmed by Forbes to be Aliko Dangote, has opened one of the world’s biggest oil refineries in Nigeria. The $19 billion project began production in mid-January.

According to Business Insider, Dangote opened the facility to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on other countries for its oil imports. The billionaire made his fortune through his eponymously named cement company, emerging as the continent’s largest cement producer. Through his success, the Nigerian entrepreneur has since become chairman and founder of the Dangote Group, officially launching the Dangote Petroleum Refinery to aid his native country.

The establishment is located off the coast in Lekki, yet it was not an overnight project, having faced years of delays before beginning production this year. Dangote sought to remedy an ongoing and costly problem for Nigeria, as most of its imports were in fuel, lacking the refining infrastructure to pull petroleum from its own soil.  

The entrepreneur grew his wealth from an already substantive beginning, being the great-grandson of Alhassan Dantata, who once held the title of Africa’s richest man from trading and distribution. 

However, this latest endeavor is worth as much as the businessman’s net worth. His wealth is estimated to be $18.5 billion, and he is ranked No. 98 amongst all the world’s richest people on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

His refinery hopes to ramp up production in its inaugural years, aiming to produce over 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily. However, that efficiency level is not expected until 2027, according to a projection by Rafiq Raji, a senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Africa Program, in conversation with the news outlet. 

In the meantime, the refinery is continuing its mission to meet Nigeria’s diverse oil needs and eliminate its reliance on other countries in the near future.