By LOUIS IBA
President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has called on private investors in the country to rise up to the challenges posed by the recent crash in crude oil price in the international market and falling government revenue by initiating fresh investments, particularly in the manufacturing, solid minerals and agriculture sectors.
Dangote, who addressed some business executives in Lagos said Nigerians should see the current challenges being faced by the country as a passing phase, which will at the end make the country stronger economically in the future.
The business mogul decried where situation in Nigeria in which some state governments could not meet their statutory obligation of paying workers salaries as well as the Federal Government not having enough funds to run its expenditures.
He said the sad trend was a wake-up call for indigenous business owners to make concerted efforts or take drastic step that will move the economy away from its present reliance on oil and gas to other areas like agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
He told the business executives that it was for these reasons he had continued investing in other non-oil sectors of Nigeria’s economy because, “if Nigerians do not invest in their country, other people would not come.
They will want to see our success story before they can come.”
Dangote further noted that, “the present challenges we are facing should not deter us from growing our economy; it shouldn’t stop us from investing. It is just a passing phase. Other countries that we refer to as being developed started from somewhere. They all experienced some of these challenges. So I want us to see these challenges as obstacles towards attaining greatness.
“I have always said that Nigeria is a good place to invest. God has given us in Nigeria what many other countries don’t have and they keep searching for it. We have fertile land for agriculture, we have the minerals resources and we have oil. All we need to do is to harness them for our good,” he added.
According to him, the Dangote Group, apart from building a refinery and a petrochemical company, is also into a fertilizer plant construction to help the agricultural sector. The Group, he said, is also investing heavily in rice cultivation.
“All these ventures are capital intensive but with prospects for massive job opportunities, which Nigeria needs at this time,” Dangote said.
Source : SunOnline