Popular business mogul and the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has called for more seriousness in handling diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
The tycoon disclosed this on Wednesday while addressing participants at a consultative round table organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in Abuja.
Dangote lamented that he has been hearing about diversification of Nigeria’s economy since as far back as 1979 but now is the time to take things more seriously.
“Diversification of this economy is very important. Since I got to Lagos in 1979, people have been talking about diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
“I think we really need this time around, be more serious so that we don’t just keep talking about diversification. It is possible but people are not really focusing on it.
“We need to find a solution as to how to make our country to be producing things that we consume,” he said.
Suggesting ways of diversifying the economy, Dangote said more attention should be paid to the agriculture and manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturing creates a lot of jobs and transforms countries. These are the areas I think we really need to focus on,” he said.
Dangote also advised that more attention should be paid on the local market to boost exportation.
According to him, “We import almost every single thing that we consume in Nigeria. We need the sales industry.”
Is Diversification Impossible?
Dangote dismissed the belief that the diversification of Nigeria’s economy is impossible.
He stressed that it can be realised through a joint effort of entrepreneurs and the Nigerian government.
Entrepreneurs according to Dangote have a role to play in diversification of the economy by leaving their comfort zones and joining hands to boost the manufacturing sector.
The role of the Nigerian government, among other factors, Dangote said is to reduce the cost of doing business and employ consistent economic policies.
Dangote also highlighted efforts that have been put in place by his organisation to diversify the economy.
He revealed that Dangote Cement has put in place efforts to ensure that “Nigeria will be the highest exporter of cement in Africa,” and also by the end of this year Dangote group will ensure that Nigeria “will be able to produce 1million tonnes of rice.”
He also spoke concerning the oil sector – “On petroleum products by the time we start our refinery, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa.”
“So, you can see that yes it is possible to diversify the economy,” Dangote concluded.