Dangote Says Nigeria Is Learning To Produce More, Import Less

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy is gradually learning how to produce more for it consumption and import less of its need in a bid to become self-sufficient and grow its economy.
Dangote spoke at the Financial Times’ 4th annual Africa Summit at Claridges in London in the presence of Nigerian vice-president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Congolese presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi, and about 300 business leaders.
“In Nigeria, we are learning how to produce the entire value chain,” Dangote said, noting that Nigeria is no longer going to depend on the import of everything. “We are not going to import anything any longer.
“Are we going to continue to import everything?” Dangote asked. “Freight rates are now cheap but they will go up soon. A population of over 200 million cannot continue to import basic needs on a daily basis,” he answered himself.
Once a heavy importer of fertiliser, Nigeria is now gearing up to produce three million tonnes of locally manufactured fertiliser, transforming the nation into one of the largest fertiliser exporters in Africa.
Diversifying into agriculture, Dangote has eyes on the dairy industry motivated by the fact that “98 percent of all milk consumed in Nigeria is imported, same for rice.
Dangote Group has invested heavily in rice production by investing in local farmers and then offering to buy back the one million tonnes at open market prices that they are growing.
“Soon we will be able to feed not only Nigeria but the entire 320M large West African market,” he told the world gathering of business executives and investors.
In 2007 Nigeria was the second largest importer of cement after the US, Dangote reminded the audience of business elites. “Today, we have not only satisfied domestic needs; we have become a leading exporter of 6-7M tonnes of cement,” he added.
By 2100 Dangote stated Africa will represent 49 percent of the world’s population, up from 30 percent today. “If you don’t think big we won’t grow at all,” he said.
“In Africa, you have to play long-term.”
“Aside from Nigeria?” the business leader repeated and smiled. “I’d have to pick Nigeria. I am a big fan of Nigeria. We are only using 8 percent of our land.”

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