Dangote Group, a conglomerate reputed as the single largest private sector employer of labour in Nigeria, is set to build the single largest refinery in the World. Ownded by Aliko Dangote, Forbes-acclaimed richest man in Africa, the group says plans are already afoot to transform Nigeria into a self sufficient country. "After receiving a private licence to build a refinery, Dangote has commenced the building of a 650,000 barrel per day (BPD) petroleum refinery, which will be the single largest in the world," read a statement issued by the company.
"The refinery would have a larger capacity than all of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) refineries put together. In 2015, the group signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) with the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development to invest N165 billion ($1 billion) for the establishment of fully integrated rice production and processing operations across the country.
"With investments in fertilizer, rice, tomato paste and sugar production, among others, Dangote is set to turn Nigeria into a major food exporting country." The 34-year-old business venture has acquired farmlands in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Niger states, totaling 150,000 hectares to be used for commercial production of rice paddy. The conglomerate is set to build two modern large scale mills with a capacity to mill 120,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy each, with plans to double the capacity in two years.
The rice plants are estimated to produce 960,000 metric tonnes, equaling 46 percent of total rice imported into Nigeria and making it the single largest investment in rice production in Africa. The group's foray into agriculture and food processing business began in 1997 when it keyed into the backward integration policy of the government in the sugar sub-sector of the economy.
Aliko Dangote lost $7.8 billion after the Naira was devalued in December 2014, reducing his net worth from $25 billion to $17.2 billion, yet he believes in Nigerian investment.