From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
ALIKO Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group says the Group is working towards producing a million tonnes of rice by end the year 2020.
Dangote disclosed this during a consultative roundtable meeting organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently in Abuja.
He said beyond rhetoric, it is time for the Federal Government to get serious in truly diversifying the nation’s economy.
This, he noted could be achieved through investment in Agriculture and Manufacturing.
“…also by the end of this year Dangote group will ensure that Nigeria will be able to produce 1million tonnes of rice,” he said. “Diversification of this economy is very important. Since I got to Lagos in 1979, people have been talking about diversification of Nigeria’s economy.”
“I think we really need this time around, be more serious so that we don’t just keep talking about diversification. It is possible but people are not really focusing on it.”
“We need to find a solution as to how to make our country to be producing things that we consume.”
The business mogul who gave the assurance that Nigeria can actually diversity its economy cited instance of the cement industry where Nigeria used to be an importer but is almost becoming net exporter of same commodity.
He said by end of the year, “Nigeria will be the highest exporter of cement in Africa.” Speaking on the oil sector, he noted that “On petroleum products by the time we start our refinery, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa.”
“So, you can see that yes it is possible to diversify the economy,” Dangote said.