The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, says Nigeria will save 40 per cent of its foreign exchange (FX) earnings when the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant is in full operations in 2022.
The CBN governor stated this on the sidelines of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meetings in Washington DC.
Emefiele said the federal government currently spent about 40 per cent of its dollar earnings on the importation of petroleum products, putting pressure on the naira to dollar rate.
“By the time the Dangote Refinery begins operation, it would be a major FX saving source for Nigeria,” he said.
“Right now, the overall forex we spend on imported items, the importation of petroleum products consumes close to 30 per cent (by the time you add diesel, aviation fuel, petrol and the rest of that).
“The Dangote Refinery has the capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day. There is a domestic component that is about 455,000 barrels. Even if the 455,000 is what is sold to Dangote in naira alone, it is going to be a major forex saving for Nigeria.
“If you look at the cost of freight alone, it is a major saving for Nigeria. That is because if we have to go to Europe or other parts of the world to bring in petroleum products where we pay heavily in freight and in stocking those products in the high sea before we offload them, Nigerians would benefit a lot from the Dangote Refinery.
“That project is one of Nigeria’s backward integration programmes, and we are very proud of it.”
The CBN governor added that the petrochemical part of the Dangote Refinery would save five 5 per cent FX from polyethene and polypropylene granules and another two per cent from fertiliser.
“On the petrochemical, it is also expected to commence about same period next. That petrochemical plant will be producing 900,000 tonnes of polyethene and polypropylene granules. Nigeria’s annual consumption here is less than 200,000,” he added.
“What does that mean? It is going to save five per cent of our imports. If you save five per cent of your imports and another 30 per cent on petroleum products and then on the fertiliser where we would save about two per cent of our imports, we are moving close to saving 40 per cent of the country’s imports.
“By that time, you will see what we would be doing when people talk about floating the naira, and then let’s see how the currency will depreciate.”
The Dangote Refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day integrated refinery project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone, Lagos. It is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility, upon completion.