Ahead of the commissioning of Dangote Refinery next Monday, an oil and gas expert, Bala Zakka, on Sunday faulted the claims by Aliko Dangote that the company could save Nigeria $10 billion in foreign exchange (FX) and generate another $10 billion in exports when the facility begins operation.

A week ago, Dangote disclosed the potential economic benefits of the company to the Nigerian economy during an interview with a special edition of London-based The Economist Magazine, titled, ‘The World Ahead 2023’.

According to him, the company would save the country the foreign exchange expended in importing fuel products.

However, Zakka said he is unsure about the figure being bandied by Africa’s richest man.

He explained that while the development of Nigeria’s first private refinery is a significant landmark in the country’s history, Nigerians should be aware that it is a private enterprise whose sole objective is to maximize profit.

“On the ability or capacity or potential of saving $10 billion as said on our importation, I’m not sure of the analysis, mathematics, or statistics. The first thing I want to say is that, first of all, Dangote is a private initiative. Private initiatives are not those that provide goods and services for free; it is the government that provides goods and services for free.

“Private initiatives are after profit maximization and cost minimization, so anywhere you see private initiatives, it is not there because it loves its citizens. It is there because there’s a need to maximize profit and minimize cost”, he stated.

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