By AMECHI OGBONNA
Guaranty Trust Bank and Standard Chartered Bank yesterday led nine other local and international commercial banks arrange a $3.3billion loan facility for Dangote lndustries Ltd for the purpose of constructing the biggest petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical/fertilizer plants in Nigeria.
The plants, which will cost a total of $9 billion are expected to generate up to 9,500 direct and 25,000 indirect jobs, in addition to reducing current volumes of refined fuel imports by around 50 per cent and effectively stopping the importation of fertilizer.
The $9 billion project will be financed by $3 billion equity and $6 billion loan capital. Wednesday’s signing ceremony commits the first tranche of loans secured by Dangote, comprising a $3.3 billion medium term loan facility supported by a consortium of 12 local and international banks. This first facility was jointly co-ordinated by Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank Plc as the local coordinator and Standard Chartered Bank as the global coordinator.
The President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, in his address at the signing ceremony event held in Abuja stated that with a refining capacity expected to reach 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day and producing a variety of refined fuel products from local crude resources, Nigeria will cut its current volumes of imported fuel products by a massive 50 per cent. The 2.8 million tonnes of urea will be channeled into growing the local agriculture sector, which is essential in producing healthy crops and promoting Nigeria and West Africa’s agricultural development. The petrochemical plant will produce polypropylene, which is a common component of most plastic and fabric products. Speaking at the event Managing Director of GRB, Segun Agbaje said: “This is the largest syndication by banks in Nigeria and it is being undertaken with the knowledge that the successful implementation of Dangote Refinery and Fertilizer project will have far reaching implications for Nigeria’s economic growth.”
Agbaje further stated that GTBank was proud to be associated with Dangote Industries on the landmark project and praised its Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for his steadfastness, hard work and genuine desire to see remarkable economic improvement in the country.