The Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote yesterday acquired a controlling stake in a major oil refinery for an undisclosed sum, his second such acquisition in the space of a few days, officials have confirmed. Bluestar Oil Services Consortium, led by the Dangote group, acquired a 51% stake in the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company.
Officials with Nigeria's privatisation agency, the Bureau for Public Enterprises, refused to give financial details of the transaction until the end of a ceremony scheduled for later Monday. Some 10 days ago, the same consortium, with Sinopec of China as technical operator, paid $561 million for a 51% stake in the country's largest refinery, the Port Harcourt Refining Company.
Dangote is a major financier of the ruling People's Democratic Party and a close ally of outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo. As well as Dangote, best known for sugar and flour milling, Bluestar also comprises Zenon Oil, an importer of refined products, and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, two other companies that are close to Obasanjo.
Nigeria has four oil refineries, none of which works. It therefore relies on imports for its refined products, despite being the largest crude oil producer in Africa.