Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote has explained that he decided to engage in strategic investments in Nigeria to complement the Federal Government’s economic recovery and growth plan.
According to the businessman, his investments in agriculture and fertiliser production were in that direction.
Dangote spoke at the weekend as the flagship of the conglomerate, the Dangote Cement Plc, began the training of newly engaged managers to sustain its leadership and competitiveness in the industry.
He said the government’s decision at diversifying the economy from oil remained the viable solution to creating a healthy economy.
The multi-billionaire noted that the private sector had important roles to play, which was why he took up the challenge to lead the way as a leading private sector operator.
Dangote said it was because of his belief in the government approach at re-energising the economy and make it export-oriented that made him to step up his investment in agriculture, especially in the area of food sufficiency.
Nigeria, he said, had wasted so much foreign exchange importing foods that ordinarily should be produced locally and even exported and that until a new approach at redirecting the economy from import-dependent to an export one, which the present government is leading, no meaningful changes can happen.
“We have invested massively in rice, sugar, dairy products, and tomatoes. Our rice-out grower scheme will produce rice by next year and that will reduce our rice import to nearly zero because Nigeria imports more than half of the rice it consumes. We have expanded our sugar operations with our operations in Tonga in Nasarawa in addition to Numan sugar projects, where sugarcane is being planted for raw sugar production that will be refined.
Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Cement Plc Joseph Makoju lauded the programme, saying it would support the overall drive of the conglomerate.
Makoju said the management scheme was part of the effort of the conglomerate “to sustain our exponential growth, competitiveness and market leadership”.
He said: “We are committed to attract top talents into our business for our current and future business needs.”