President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote has said that his conglomerate was exploring more investment opportunities in Kaduna state.
Mr. Dangote who spoke at the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit on Wednesday said the move to scale up its investments in the state was informed by the ‘great strides’ being made by the state government on the Ease of Doing Business.
“We have noted the great strides being made by the Kaduna State Government over the past three years especially the veritable improvements in the Ease of Doing Business and investment climate, and will in addition to our proposed joint venture in the automotive subsector also explore other opportunities in the state especially in the agribusiness and solid minerals sectors,” Mr. Dangote who was represented the company’s Group Executive Director Engr Ahmed Mansur said.
The theme for this year’s summit, which is the third edition, is ‘Promoting Economic Growth through Partnership’.
The summit is organized by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency(KADIPA) while the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) are co-hosts of the summit.
The Dangote Group has investment in the Kaduna based Peugeot Automobile Assembly Plant and is expected to invest in tomato processing plant.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the summit, Kaduna State Governor Nasiru Ahmad El- Rufai commended the Dangote Group for its interest in the State.
Mr. El Rufai also reiterated the economic strategy behind the state’s five-year plan which, according to him, will serve as a catalyst that will help make Kaduna great again. The plan was unveiled at KADINVEST in 2016.
He also unveiled $65.5billion infrastructure plan that is expected to run between 2018 and 2050.
He said 79% of the investors in Kaduna State are foreign investors, while the remaining are local investors.
The Governor added: “Kaduna believes that private investment is the best vehicle for job creation, and is eager to bring together the private sector, international development partners and development finance institutions to identify opportunities in the state and take the investment initiatives that create growth.”
According to him, the state was interested in wooing investors into: Commercial Agriculture sector, agro-Allied Industries, power (Renewable Energy), transportation, solid Minerals, ICT/Services, Hospitality/Leisure/Tourism, housing, education, healthcare, waste-to-Wealth and Light Manufacturing.
He said some of the international investors already in Kaduna are: Olam: Hatchery & Feed Mill, Dangote: Tomato Farm & Processing Facility/Dangote-Peugeot Assembly Plant, Flour Mills: Maize and Wheat, Flour Processing Plant
Capital Rice, Indorama: Organic Fertilizer, Rapidacc: Mass Housing, FIDC: Mass Housing, Hydraform: Mass Housing, DraperDarkFlow: ICT Hub
Coders4Africa: ICT Hub Schneider Electric/Skipper: Energy Academy
Old Port/Unilever: Edible Oil Reﬁnery, OCP: Fertilizer, Vicampro: Potato Farm And Processing Facility, Kewalram Chanrai: Feed Mill, Blue Camel Energy: Solar Panel Assembly Plant and Vlisco: Cotton, Textiles, Garment.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dangote, whose company is the largest private sector employer in Nigeria, said: “Given the capricious nature of crude oil prices, Nigeria must quickly take advantage of this prevailing window of opportunity to diversify its economy and address fundamental structural vulnerabilities by deepening and expanding its non-oil economy.”
He said: “The public/private sector partnership is bearing good results in the rice value chain. Government has tried to improve rice yields for more than 30 years but the output rarely exceeded 2 tons/ ha.
Today, the Dangote Rice project has achieved yields of 4 to 5 tons/ ha in just 3 years working with local farmers.”
In the agricultural sector, he said the Dangote Group is currently working on cultivation of about 130,000Ha of sugarcane (directly and via out growers) in Niger, Taraba, Adamawa and