Chairman of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote yesterday, said Nigeria remain an evergreen country for investment in the world, adding that the fundamental factor which drives investments in an economy is the presence of investor-friendly business climate.
In his speech during the $1 billion ground-breaking ceremony of Dangote cement plants at Okpella, Edo State, April 10, the Africa’s richest man said he will never shirk from investing in Nigeria’s economy, noting that Edo State is today one of the most attractive investment destinations in Nigeria.
According to him:
“The economic reforms in Edo State, especially in the area of tax, innovations in rural finance and investment on infrastructure, have produced an enabling environment that has further provided a platform for future growth. All these factors made us consider investing in the state.
“Nigeria is a growing economy. Our developmental challenges are quite enormous and will require the combined efforts of government and private sector to overcome them. It is in this light that we are here to contribute our own quota to transforming the economy of Edo State as we have done elsewhere.
Based on the company’s current output (35 million metric ton), the new cement plants are expected to add 6 million metric tonnes more of cement per annum, summing it up to 41 million metric tonnes with potentials for 6,000 new jobs.
Dangote explained that the investment in Okpella, Edo State was one of their several successful ongoing projects in all parts of the country and in more than 15 other locations in Africa, in line with their Pan African investment strategy. He said:
“Last June, we commissioned our cement plant in Ethiopia, and in August of same year in Zambia and Cameroon. We commissioned our plant in Tanzania in October. We plan to commission very soon, some of our other African plants in Senegal and South Africa.
“Also last year, in Lagos, we signed a deal valued at $4.34 billion, with Sinoma International Engineering Company Limited, for the construction of 10 additional new cement plants across Africa, with one in Nepal in Asia. The combined capacity of these new projects will be 25 million metric tons per annum.
“By the time all these new projects are completed in the next few years, we will have a total capacity of 81 million metric tons per annum. This will make us one of the top six cement companies in the world. We are currently consolidating our cement businesses across Africa in order to reap the benefits of scale. As a matter of fact, our operational offshore cement plants have started to make substantial contributions to our group revenue.
“By God’s grace, we will all gather here again to commission this plant within the next 26 months. There is no doubt that the presence of the plant here will impact positively on the community, its people and the state.”