Africa’s richest man and President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has promised to always invest in Nigeria, asserting that Nigeria remains the best place to invest in the world.
He urged the private sector to invest in critical areas of the economy since the Federal Government has expressed readiness to resuscitate the industrial sector.
Dangote, who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony of Okpella cement financed by his group, said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is on the right path in its bid to diversify the nation’s economy.
Noting that the new plant could transform the economy of Okpella and Edo State, he disclosed that investment in local cement plants saved Nigeria $3 billion spent on importing cement.
According to him “While others are sitting and waiting, the Dangote Group is thinking ahead by investing in additional cement capacities in Okpella in Edo State and Itori in Ogun State. We have also invested in a 100MW Power Generation Plant for Itori and Okpella.
“A key factor that drives investments in an economy is the presence of an investor-friendly business climate. Indeed, Edo State is one of the most attractive investment destinations in Nigeria.
“The economic reforms in Edo State, especially in tax, innovations in rural finance and investment on infrastructure, have produced an enabling environment that has further provided a platform for future growth. These factors encouraged us to consider Edo State as the right destination for this investment.
“By this investment, Dangote is increasing its production capacity, thus maintaining its leadership in the industry. The Okpella six million capacity plant will take our local capacity to 35m mtpa, and with the coming on stream of the 6m mtpa plant at Itori in Ogun State, our local capacity will go up to 41m mtpa.”
He added that the project “is only one of our several successful projects in parts of the country and outside in more than 15 other locations in African countries, in line with our Pan African investment strategy.”
The Minister of Solid Mineral Development Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his counterpart in Trade and investments, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah said government was pleased with Dangote Cement in ensuring that the nation frees itself from endless importation and becoming net exporter.
They noted that this tallied with the change agenda of the Buhari government to substitute importation with local production and consume only products produced locally, adding that the volatility in the international oil market and the excessive dependent on importation have put pressure on the naira.
Fayemi said the Federal Government would meet with the 36 governors to simplify access to land by investors in solid minerals.
He said continuous investment in the mining sector would earn the nation $25 billion annually by 2025.