Africans richest man Aliko Dangote plans to shift focus from Cement business to oil and gas.

Mr. Dangote told Reuters the $12bn refinery will be ready at the beginning of 2019.

"It will be ready in the first quarter of 2019," Dangote told Reuters. "Mechanical completion will be end of 2018 but we will start producing in 2019."

Dangote also has plans for a gas pipeline through West Africa, Reuters adds.

Dangote plans to build cement plant in eight Africa countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia by 2018.

Another plant will open in Congo Republic by September, he added.

This would double his current cement business.