Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has spoken about Aliko Dangote and the Dangote Group.
He revealed that the Dangote Group has paid 70 percent of the loans it obtained from the apex bank to construct its oil refinery.
Emiefele made this known at the commissioning of the refinery on Monday.
The CBN boss said the refinery was initially estimated to cost just about $9 billion but the project cost escalated and was eventually completed with a total of $18.5 billion
He mentioned the commercial loan component of the project was financed majorly by domestic banks while the rest was made available by foreign banks.
According to him, the CBN also provided about N125 billion for domestic currency requirements while also ensuring the availability of foreign exchange (FX) to pay for imported equipment.
He said, “We have it on good authority that the Dangote Group has paid off some portion of these commercial loans even before this commissioning today,” Emefiele said.
“Today, total loans outstanding have dropped from over $9 billion when this project started to N2.7 billion. This reflects the astute credit-worthiness and commercial capability of the group and its chairman, Alhaji Dangote.
“I must at this juncture appreciate all the participating local Nigerian banks, who did not only partner with the project through effective financing but were keenly aware of the importance of the project for our nation.
“They provided immense support and exceptional understanding, even when interest payments and principal repayment had fallen due.”
Emefiele expressed optimism that Nigeria, under the incoming administration, will stop importing petroleum products, fertiliser and petrochemicals and save the country over $26 billion.