By Dr. Dons Eze
Aliko Dangote is Africa’ s leading businesses man, investor and industrialist. His tentacles are spread not only in Nigeria, but also in most parts of the African continent by way of investments and marketing outlets. Aliko Dangote is said to be the richest man in Africa. As at November 2019, he is said to be worth an estimated $8.9 billion.
Coming down here in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote has many industries located in different parts of the country. He has the Dangote Cement, located at Obajana in Kogi State. Dangote has taken over the Benue Cement, located in Gboko, Benue State. He is the owner of the cement company at Ibese in Ogun State.
The Dangote Sugar Refinery is located in Lagos, just as the Dangote Macaroni, is also located in Lagos, in the same way as the Dangote Flour is equally located in Lagos, Kano and Calabar.
Now, Aliko Dangote is setting up a rice factory in Kebbi State. According to a statement by the spokesman of the Governor of Kebbi State, the Governor, Atiku Bagudu, had last weekend visited the site of the rice factory, which would have 32 silos, and saw its facilities being installed as at the time of the Governor’s visit.
The spokesman quoted the Governor as commending the Dangote Group for establishing the rice mill in the state, which he said, would reduce unemployment and boost the economy of the state.
“I must commend the Dangote Group of Companies, especially Alhaji Aliko Dangote for initiating the project in Kebbi State. This will go a long way in providing employment for our youth as well as boosting the economy of the state and Nigeria generally”, he quoted the Governor to have said.
This is what these other states and geopolitical zones in the country where Dangote has investments have been enjoying, and we sincerely commend him for that.
However, we are yet to see Aliko Dangote establish any factory in any of the states in the South East zone. All we have been seeing are heavily loaded Dangote trucks carrying all sorts of goods from different parts of the country, trying to find their way through the dilapidated roads of the South East, and in the process, block most of the roads, which thus force many vehicles to be on standstill for several hours.
Sometimes, some careless drivers of these trucks would veer off the road, got their vehicles ram on to some stationary objects, or into the markets schools, houses, etc., or even inside the bush, to knock down some innocent passers-by and destroy some valuable property.
We would therefore love to see Aliko Dangote establish any industry in the South East zone. The South East is heavily populated and thus has a very large market. The zone is much bigger than most of the African countries where Dangote has investments. Any industry established in the zone by the Dangote Group would not only make very good returns for the conglomerate, but would equally help to boost the economy of the area and reduce unemployment.
Moreover, establishing any industry in the South East by the Dangote Group, would reduce the number of trucks that ply the roads in the area, save the wear and tear of both these trucks and the roads themselves, and above all, reduce the number of accidents witnessed on these roads.
Different kinds of raw materials are easily available and accessible in different parts of the South East zone. And above all, the South East zone is one of the most peaceful zones in the country, so there will be no fear of the safety of any of the Dangote’s investments in the area. The labour is also cheap, fairly educated, and therefore can easily adapt to any changing situation.
Eze, a public affairs analyst, writes from Enugu.