Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed has said that he expects production at a huge oil refinery being built in Nigeria by Africa’s richest man to start as scheduled around 2020.
Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters in August that it was unlikely that the 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery would start production before 2022.
Billionaire Aliko Dangote secured more than $4.5 billion in debt financing for the project which has a price tag of up to $14 billion.
“When one looks at the money which has been raised from private funds, banks, it can’t afford to miss the deadline and it’s working (round) the clock to ensure that the refinery becomes operational in 2020 or thereabouts,” Mohammed said.
Asked whether his government might consider privatising part of Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC, Mohammed said such a step was “not a priority”.
Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and the main opposition candidate for the February 2019 presidential election, had said he would privatise parts of the state oil company if he was elected head of state.