Abuja- Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote said on Friday his 650,000 barrel per day oil refinery is expected to be commissioned next year, before President Muhammadu Buhari's presidential term comes to an end.
The refinery is being built at a cost of $19 billion in Lagos and has been delayed by several years, increasing the cost from Dangote's earlier estimates of $12-$14 billion.
"By the grace of God, Mr President will come and commission it (refinery) before the end of his term next year," Dangote said in response to a question after a meeting with Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.
A Dangote executive said this month the refinery would start production by the fourth quarter of 2022.
The government sees the refinery as a solution to ending Nigeria's reliance on imports for most refined petroleum products even though Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil producer and exporter.
Government officials say they have started to upgrade some state-owned refineries that have a refining capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) but had become dilapidated over several decades.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; editing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Jason Neely)