‘Nigeria’s on path of industrialisation’ – Dangote
Africa’s richest man, yesterday, has said that Nigeria is on track to realising its industrialisation target.
Aliko Dangote, who is Dangote Group’s President, spoke of the conglomerate’s plans in the next few years.
Speaking in Lagos at the Ninth Bola Tinubu Colloquium, he said inconsistency in government policy had been the bane of industrial development over the years, but that the unfolding glimmer of hope showed that the country was on the right track.
He said the country was on the way to the next trajectory. “We are working with the government to ensure economic recovery; the future is bright,” Dangote said.
The industrial giant added that in cement production, the country was producing 1.8 million tones by 2014, an improvement from the scenario in 2004 when the country was the greatest importer of cement in Africa and second in the world.
He said 70 per cent of the cement used in the country today are produced locally and that in the next few years, the country will become self-sufficient and reverse the trend by exporting to countries like the United States (U.S.). He added that the group is targeting to export about 400,000 tons to the U.S. soon.
Dangote said the country would be self-sufficient in the production of a lot of items in the nearest future. He said the group is building a refinery with a capacity of 650 million barrels per day, which will satisfy the demand of the entire Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
He thanked Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for facilitating the siting of his petro-chemical plant within the Lekki corridor, saying that were it not for the former Lagos State governor who assisted in providing about 2,008 hectares of land for the project, it would have been taken elsewhere.
The Dangote Group President said the petro-chemical plant is 10 times the size of the one in Eleme, Rivers State and that the plant employs about 18,000 workers. He said by next year, the staff strength would increase to 60,000. He gave 2019 as the project’s completion.
Dangote said the group has a plan to expand its sugar production, by setting up plants in Nasarawa and Taraba states. He said by the time the two plants come on stream, the country would be producing 2.5 million tons of sugar, almost twice the commodity’s local consumption of 1.7 million tons.
He said his group has initiated move to set up a rice processing mill, with a capacity of producing 1.6 million metric tons.