- Ventures into dairy production to stem importation of milk
Against the background of the current paucity of forex in Nigeria, pan-African conglomerate, the Dangote Group has said it is currently driving six major projects which will generate foreign exchange earnings of about $15 billion annually for the nation.
The company is investing a total of $20 billion on the six key projects, according to the President of the Group, Aliko Dangote.
The business mogul made these disclosures while addressing students of Executive MBA and Owner Manager Programme of the Lagos Business School in Lagos on the topic, “The Role of Business in Driving Sustainable Development in Africa: The Story of the Dangote Group.”
He listed the projects as refinery and petrochemicals, sub-sea gas pipeline, fertiliser, local rice production, local sugar production and cement capacity expansion.
Dangote explained that the refinery and petrochemical project with capacity to process 650,000bpd and which will gulp $11billion would ensure fuel sufficiency for Nigeria, while the petrochemical plant would produce 1.3M mtpa polypropylene and polyethylene.
Said he: “The fertilizer project put at a cost of $2 billion will contribute to national food security and sufficiency for Nigeria. It will produce 2.8 million tons of urea per year.
“The EWOGGS pipeline project on which $3 billion will be sunk and located near Bonny Island to Lekki Free Trade zone will unlock significant gas supply for industry and supply gas to generate 12,000 MW of power.
“The rice project, a fully integrated rice production and processing operation with capacity to produce 960,000 MT of milled rice per annum, will meet 16 per cent of Nigeria’s rice needs. It has two rice mills of 240,000 MT / season, two crop seasons in a year.”
Dangote disclosed that the rice projects estimated to gulp $1 billion will cover 150,000 Ha across Adamawa, Edo, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states. 40 per cent of paddy is to be provided by Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme.
On the sugar backward integration project, the Dangote Group president said this would ensure self-sufficiency in sugar. “The sugar projects cover 150,000 Ha across Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Taraba, Kogi and Kwara States and will produce 1.5 mn MT refined sugar per annum. We are investing $1 billion and the approach is to have two phases over the next 10 years. The project has the potential to discourage insurgency in the North East through massive job creation.”
Dangote said not until Nigeria becomes a producing nation and reduces import, her economy would continue to grope in the dark, noting that his company would continue to take the lead in any sector that requires the nation to look inward.
He said Nigeria has no business with importation of some products which the nation has raw materials to produce. He gave an example of milk lamenting that 80 per cent of milk consumed in Nigeria is imported, a situation he described as unacceptable.
Dangote therefore promised that he would be venturing into diary production to reverse the trend saying Nigeria can produce the amount of milk needed for her citizenry.
It would be recalled that the business mogul had indicated that his new $12 billion three in one project, the refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer plants currently under construction would create a minimum of 235,000 new jobs, both direct and indirect jobs, as it becomes operational in the first quarter of 2019.
Dangote is optimistic that there will be market for the refined products because even in Africa, only three countries have effective functioning refineries with others importing from abroad.
Dangote said gas from the gas pipeline project can supply fuel to central power plants to generate electricity for households and Nigeria will save over $7.5billion for Nigeria annually, through import substitution.