A $15 Billion Oil Bet Is Tough Challenge for Richest African

Aliko Dangote has made a fortune out of cement and food processing. Now, Africa’s richest person is embarking on a bigger challenge: a $15 billion investment in oil, gas and petrochemicals that could, if he pulls it off, transform Nigeria’s economy.

The 61-year-old is building one of the world’s biggest oil refineries near Lagos, the commercial capital. He’s also constructing a fertilizer factory on the same site and plans to boost gas supplies to the city, Africa’s largest. Once that’s done, he wants to buy enough oil fields to pump one-quarter of a million barrels of crude a day.

The workaholic, who counts Bill Gates among his friends and is worth $12.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, has little experience of any of these businesses. He says his push into them can help end Nigeria’s reliance, despite its status as an OPEC member, on imported fuel and increase electricity generation in a country that experiences constant blackouts

 

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