Aliko Dangote the Chairman of Dangote Group has said that his plans is to shore up his total revenue above the size of Ghana’s GDP by the time his factories begin to work in full capacity.
Dangote made the disclosure while narrating the difficulties he has faced in the last four years when he was building his 360,0000 barrels per day refinery in Lagos.
Dangote is launching the refinery which is the largest single train refinery on May 22 this year which Nigeria relies on to curb billions of dollars spent on the importation and swap of petroleum products.
But the richest man in the continent said at the ongoing 2023 Upstream Investment Management Services Ltd (NUIMS) Annual Value Assurance Review (AVAR) Workshop, that he grew all his gray hairs in the last four years because of the refinery project.
Dangote said, “We knew what we were targeting and our target is by the time we finish all these and we get to our own capacity, we will move our total group revenue from $5bn to $27bn which is equivalent to Ghana’s GDP.
“A lot of people just talk about our refinery but don’t know what we went through. First of all, to make the land suitable because of climate change, we had to raise the land by 1.5 metres but then when you talk about land is it just land no? Our land is 7 times that of Victoria Island (VI).
“VI is 458 hectares our land is 2,780 hectares. So it was not land and we had to bring in the three biggest dredging companies and we pumped from the sea and we have a lot of hassle getting environmental, getting approval from the Ministry of Environment… When you are faced with these challenges, in fact, I developed all my grey hair in the last four years. “
The billionaire explained that it took him 18 months to pump sand alone. According to him, 65 million cubic metres of sand was pumped to fill the land.
He said, “We had to pump in 65 million cubic metres of sand and it took us 18 months. Our CDU is the second biggest which is 2780 tonnes our biggest equipment is 3,000 metric tonnes- that is 3,000 cars in one location and the cranes to lift that is 5,000 tonnes cranes which there are only two available in the world.
“So, when we hired that one, we had the delay and despite the cost, we had to detain that one here and infinitive charges fine. In our CDU alone we had to do 13,000 pipes. We wanted to do storage to store water of 440 million litres of water and we had to do 18,260 pipes.
“We went round the world hiring people with rigs and at the end of the day, we bought our own rigs. People who were doing granite and chips quadrupled their prices waiting for Dangote to come into the market, but we had already planned ahead of them. You know Nigerians. So, what we did was to go and create a capacity of 10 million metric tonnes which is more than the entire capacity of Nigeria in Ogun State where we are mining. 800,000 metric tonnes per month.”
Dangote said he had engaged the Nigerian Ports Authority to break the gate of the port in other to have access.
He lamented that Nigerian infrastructure is not built to execute mega projects.
Dangote explained, “At first, we were in discussion with Nigerian Ports Authority to break their gate but on second thought, it will expose everybody but then we got stuck. We learned more that the infrastructure in Nigeria is almost nothing when it comes to mega projects.
“We had to build a specialised port which was for roll-in and roll-out ships. So, that is how we were able to bring in these equipment.”