Africa’s richest man and President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote during the weekend stated that his company lost N50 billion to the flexible foreign exchange policy.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had introduced a flexible interbank market for the naira last week.
“We have been badly affected like any other company,” Dangote said. “This week (last week), the Central Bank removed the peg that has held the naira at the official rate of 197 for the last 16 months, leading to a 30 per cent devaluation as the currency traded freely on the interbank market.”
“This devaluation alone, we have lost over 50 billion naira ($176 million),” he said.
“The gas, which is our main source of power, is priced in dollars. If there is 40 per cent devaluation, your price will go up by 40 per cent. Every single aspect of the production will go up by that percentage,” he said.
According to him, operational costs of his firms totaled $100 million each month due to recurring expenses, such as the purchase of parts for cement production and running a fleet of 9,000 trucks.
“When you are talking about 20 billion dollars worth of projects, what is 161 million? One-hundred-and-sixty-one million dollars is what I need in just six weeks,” he said.
Dangote spoke when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo toured the project sites of Dangote Fertiliser and Dangote Refinery in Lekki, Lagos.