Aliko Dangote, chairman of the Dangote Group, outlines his investments potentials in Nigeria and Africa, plans to inject N6 trillion into the economy
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 10, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |
WITH the current economic challenges facing Nigeria, Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group, has promised to increase his investments in the country and across the continent of Africa by injecting about N6.09 trillion ($20 billion) into projects. A statement issued by the Dangote Group, quoted him as saying that the investment areas would include petroleum refinery, petrochemicals, fertiliser, gas pipeline, and backward integration in sugar and rice production.
Dangote said, “Last year alone, we commenced cement operations in Ethiopia, Zambia, Cameroon, South Africa, Senegal and Tanzania. By 2019, we will have operations in 18 countries with a total capacity of nearly 80 million metric tonnes per annum, thus making us the largest cement producer in Africa and the sixth largest in the world.
“Over the next few years, we will also be investing nearly $20 billion in projects ranging from a petroleum refinery, petrochemicals, fertiliser, gas pipeline, and backward integration in sugar and rice production. These projects will create over 250,000 jobs and provide foreign exchange earnings and savings of $16 billion for the country and help diversify our economy. Central to this developmental trajectory is the need for capacity building and ramping up of the quality of skills of a fast-growing African workforce.”
The African richest man, who was presented with the award of the ‘2016 African Business Leader’ by the US-based organisation, Africa-America Institute, for his contribution to human capital development through the establishment of businesses across the continent, said the award would further encourage him to redouble efforts towards promoting the continent’s economic renaissance.
“Despite the current economic challenges, we will continue to scale up the value of our investments not only in Nigeria, but also across the entire continent because we believe in Nigeria and Africa’s potential.”
According to him, Dangote Industries Limited $17 billion refinery project will create over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs by the first quarter of 2019.
Speaking through Olakunle Alake, chief operating officer of the company, Dangote said the refinery, petrochemicals and fertiliser plants are in one location.
He said the project would be the single largest stream in the world. He said, “The refinery and fertiliser projects will create job opportunities for the communities and Nigerians when it becomes operational. The refinery will have a refining capacity of about 650,000 barrels of crude a day.”
Alake said the project would force down the price of premium motor spirit in the country and save money spent on importation. He said that projects such as these would optimise government revenue and wean Nigeria from relying solely on oil. He said that the best way to diversify Nigeria’s economy is through agriculture and the fertiliser plant is in line with that goal.
The chief operating officer said that the 98 percent of basic engineering on the fertiliser plant had been executed, while the construction had progressed by 30 percent. He said, “By the time we finish our gas pipeline it will be able to generate about 12,000mw which can be exported to other African countries.
“We will have the capacity to store four billion litres of products and load 2,680 trucks per day. The project will aid the country with about 7.5 billion dollars forex savings on importation. It will also generate five billion dollars forex earnings from savings and another 5.5 billion dollars export earnings.”
Alake gave assurance that there would be markets for the refined products, saying that only three countries in Africa had effective and functional refineries, while others imported. He said the projects would help the country save five billion dollars on oil importation when it becomes operational in 2019.
“By the time we complete this project, there will be opportunity to take on agriculture and say bye to poverty because there will be jobs; no sector has more job potential than agriculture. Though the project is an ambitious one but when completed it will give Nigeria a new economic direction in its quest for economic diversification,’’ he said.
He said excess products would be exported to give Nigeria the much needed foreign exchange. “That is when diversification starts.” Alake said, adding, however, that access to foreign exchange posed serious challenges to the projects.
“We aim to complete the projects within the time frame to assist in easing the forex problem. We appeal to the federal government to support these private initiatives by providing funding for the projects. However, government through the Bank of Industry schemes has given us a credit facility of N50 billion to develop the fertiliser plant. We have also gotten another N75 billion approval for the refinery, which we have not yet accessed.”