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No evidence Dangote refinery selling refined oil products to Nigerians in US dollars

IN SHORT: On 2 April, Nigeria's Dangote refinery began supplying diesel and aviation fuel to the local market. However, claims that the company is selling its refined products locally in US dollars are not true.

Nigeria’s Dangote Petroleum Refinery has been in the news since it began producing diesel and jet fuel in January 2024. The US$20 billion private refinery in Lagos is owned by the country’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

Designed to process Nigerian crude oil, it has a refining capacity of 650,000 barrels per day. It is hoped that it will end Nigeria’s dependence on imported petroleum products, although the country is a producer of crude oil.

The refinery began supplying petroleum products to the local market on 2 April, starting with diesel and aviation fuel.

Since the refinery began operations, it has been the subject of many claims online. One of them is a video posted on Facebook here, here and here. It is captioned: “Dangote to sell refined products to Nigeria in dollars -- News Central.”

If true, this could threaten the country's precarious foreign exchange situation. 

But does Dangote sell refined products to Nigeria in dollars? We checked.

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No evidence refined products sell in dollars

The video circulating on Facebook is from a longer version that was first uploaded to YouTube by News Central TV on 26 September 2023. Its caption reads: “Oil and Gas: Dangote Refinery To Sell Petrol To Nigeria In Dollars.”

The claim that Dangote would sell refined products to Nigeria in dollars was first denied by oil marketers in January 2024. 

Chinedu Ukadike, spokesperson for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (Ipman), told the media that although the refinery bought its crude oil in US dollars, this did not mean that it sold its refined products locally in the same currency.  

“The legal tender in Nigeria is the naira. The cement being sold by Dangote Cement is done in naira, not in dollar. The spaghetti and other essential commodities that he is involved in are all sold in naira.” he said

Ukadike added that those using ships to move the product beyond Nigeria’s shores may have to pay the dollar equivalent.  

And in April the refinery cut prices, with all prices quoted in naira. The company said customers buying one million litres of diesel and above would pay N970 per litre, while aviation fuel was fixed at N980 per litre.

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