The management of Dangote Group has said that its focus now is to develop its multi-billion dollars new businesses to appreciable level this year to meet its completion timelines.
The group is putting in place infrastructures for business projects such as Refinery, gas, fertilizer and rice production.
Speaking at the weekend on the International Business Cable Television Channel, CNBC in Lagos, the Group’s Executive Director for Strategy, Potfolio Development and Special Project, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, said the Company was launching all out to ensure the businesses come on stream as planned.
He explained that though a few of the new businesses has been redesigned for increased capacity, he explained that the management, all things being equal expects all to come on stream as earlier planned, inflation, exchange rate and increased bank interest rate notwithstanding.
Edwin said the Dangote Group business models were develop to be one of the biggest if not the biggest in the world and that new technologies employed by the company gives it advantage over others.
He cited the Obajana cement plant as the single largest cement plant in the world, also, our Sugar refinery plant is the single second largest in the world. “We are building 650,000 barrels per day oil refinery which will be the largest in the world, and our planned rice production would also be the largest in the world”
We do all these because we believe in Nigeria, we believe in her potential and we believe in her economy. We draw our business model with exportation in mind. We believe Nigeria can be self sufficient and even produce for foreign market”, he added.
Edwin stated that the company is focusing on its refinery timely delivery, fertilizer plant equipment already on ground and the gas production is key to the management.
According to him “Nigeria has a large population, so do many other African countries, and that is why we build all our business model with exportation in mind. We had to review the capacity of our planned refinery and increase it. We have never hesitated to have big plants and that is why we deploy latest technologies in their set up”
It would be recalled that Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to invest $1 Billion (N165 billion) for the establishment of fully integrated rice production and processing operations across Nigeria.
The signing of the MOU which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan and the planned investment were meant to be a response to the on-going reforms of the President’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) launched in 2011. Following the launch, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has worked with various stakeholders to catalyse increased investments for agriculture with a particular emphasis on private sector investments.
Dangote has acquired farmland in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, and Niger states totalling 150,000 hectares to be used for the commercial production of rice paddy.
As part of the project, Dangote will also establish two state-of-the-art large-scale rice mills each with a capacity to mill 120,000 Metric Tons of rice paddy, bringing total capacity to 240,000 Metric Tons, with plans to double capacity within two years. With this installed capacity, the Project will become the largest single investment ever made in rice production in Africa. The rice plant is estimated to produce 960,000 metric tons of mill rice, representing 46 per cent of rice imported into Nigeria.
The President Jonathan had commended Aliko Dangote for building a strong industrial base in Nigeria. “It takes a lot of hardwork, commitment and discipline to achieve the feat, accomplished by Aliko Dangote. Today is a great day for Nigeria and this investment is worth the risk. The country is capable of producing rice that can feed the whole of West African sub-region”
Concerning our porous borders, the President vowed to put an end to the high spate of smuggling in the next 12 months. He cautioned that the days of smugglers are numbered and that the Government is determined to install electronic surveillance equipment that will depend less on human manipulations and interventions. He assured Dangote that his investment will be protected.