In an interview granted on the sidelines of the Alaghodaro investment summit recently organized by the Edo State Government, billionaire industrialist, Aliko Dangote revealed why he has intensified his group’s investments in the agricultural sector.
Based on my own estimations Nigeria should be creating something like about 5 million jobs every year for us to become prosperous. The only way we can create this high number of jobs is to go and concentrate on agriculture.
President Buhari shares the same view
In his 2018 budget presentation to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari highlighted his administration’s achievements in the agricultural sector and plans going foward with the establishment 6 staple crop processing zones. He also described smuggling of food items into the country a national crime.
food security is an important aspect of this administration’s national security agenda. any person involved in smuggling of food items is a threat to our national security and will therefore be dealt with accordingly.
Keying into an a sector supported by the government, gives the Dangote Group access to grants and subsidies. Essential in doing business in a harsh climate like Nigeria.
Beyond the jobs
In addition to creating jobs, investing in agriculture reduces Nigeria’s reliance on foreign food imports which act as a drain on the nation’s foreign reserves. Interventions in rice farming have led to a drop in rice imports in the country.
Dangote’s investments in the agric space
In addition to investing in sugar and salt refining, the Dangote group has also unveiled plans to invest in dairy farming, and Dangote rice is expected in the market by 2018. The Dangote group also runs a tomato processing plant which has had to shut down severally due to unavailability of tomatoes.