From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Barring any change in plans, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) will be investing $20 billion in the next 10 years as part of its expansion programme.
The Group Executive Director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communications of DIL, Ahmed Mansur, who unveiled the company’s future plans in an interactive with journalists yesterday noted that about 25,000 people would be employed within the 10-year period.
The overall aim of the manufacturing conglomerate, according to Mansur, is to reduce capital flight while boosting the inflow of foreign exchange into the nation’s coffers.
“Dangote Industries plans to bring $6 to $10 billion every year for the country when the injection of funds and expansion programme is completed. Under the expansion plan, Dangote will increase investment in rice with the intention of eliminating importation of rice by acquiring 150,000 hectares of land in different parts of the country in the next five to 10 years. The investment in rice production will help reduce the price of rice to make one of Nigeria’s staples affordable. DIL said it is now working with about 800 farmers to buy off their produce at market prices,” he explained.
Another area that will receive significant financial investment, according to Dangote Industries is the sugar business with plans to go into integrated sugar production through the creation of new sugarcane plantation and crushing facilities.
“DIL has never asked for tax holidays or waivers exclusively for itself. Any tax incentives or waivers enjoyed by the conglomerate, he said, are those that are policy driven for the entire industry and never specifically for Dangote. We are only interested in incentives generated by government for areas we are in business for,” he added.
On allegations of favouritism being enjoyed by the company in the allocation of dollars for imports, Mansur stated that the conglomerate “applies for forex like everybody else depending on its needs.”
He, however, lamented that the conglomerate receives far less dollars than it applies for as a percentage of its total request compared to others.
“If Dangote’s request for dollar for its refinery alone is to be met by the authorities, there won’t be any dollars left for others but we understand; that is why we make do with what is given to us, which is less than what others receive as a percentage of the request put in for dollars.”
On refinery, Mansur stated that “the 650,000 litres per day refinery will be completed in 2018 and when completed will be a net importer of forex for Nigeria.”