Aliko Dangote seems to be on an expansion drive for his empire as the Dangote Group has commenced training unemployed graduates for rice farming in Kogi State. The youths will cultivate rice paddy on 100 hectares of land provided by the Lower Niger River Basin Authority in Kampe Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government Area. The company will also provide seedlings and other inputs, then purchase the rice when it is ready for harvest.
Why is Dangote doing this ?
Group Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Edwin Devakumar stated that the group was embarking on the programme in order to address the skill gap in rice production. Dangote rice is expected to be released into the market by 2018.
We believe skill, knowledge, enabling environment, collaboration and linkages along the value chain are driving forces for economic empowerment and social development in line with the Federal Government policies. This project will address the skills gap in local rice production among unemployed youths by providing technical, organisational and financial requirements.
Who benefits ?
The unemployed graduates will now earn an income. The state also benefits from the increased economic activities. Kogi state also hosts the Obajana cement factory, which is one of the largest in Africa. Dangote Rice limited also gains from the guaranteed supply of paddy rice, which will be processed.
Despite the numerous benefits, the scheme shows the dire unemployment situation in the country. Dangote, in 2012 revealed it had gotten applications from Phd and MBA holders to work as truck drivers.
Dangote Group was established in May 1981 as a trading business with an initial focus on cement, the Group diversified over time into a conglomerate trading cement, sugar, flour, salt and fish. In recent years, the group has diversified into manufacturing and is currently building one of the largest refineries in Africa, billed for completion by 2020.