Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote, has blamed the herdsmen crisis in the country on a high level of unemployment. Dangote stated this in an interview with Channels Television.
If there are jobs, there wouldn’t be anything like Boko Haram. There will not be anything like herdsmen. Once you are engaged you don’t have time for mischief.
Where will the jobs come from ?
The billionaire was also of the opinion that the agriculture and solid minerals, where two areas where a massive number of jobs could be created.
We should focus on agriculture. We should focus on solid minerals. These two can replace oil.
Why Dangote may have a point
Alhaji as he is fondly known may have a point. Nigeria’s solid minerals sector has remained largely undeveloped, despite the large amount of deposits. The country also struggles to feed itself and basic food items like rice are still imported.
The Dangote Group has recently doubled down on its investments in the agriculture sector. In addition to owning a tomato paste processing plant, Dangote has also established rice and sugarcane farms. The Dangote Group, last year unveiled plans to start dairy production in 2019.
Why has agriculture not being embraced ?
Despite the potentials in the agriculture sector, Nigerians have largely shied away from it due to several hindrances. The current land tenure system makes it difficult for government to acquire land.
The poor state of infrastructure in the country such as roads and power makes agri processing iin the country an expensive venture in the country. Farms are often located in rural areas and it takes days for the produce to reach processing facilities. Epileptic power supply in the country, means business owners have to generate their own power. Even the Dangote Group is not immune from this, as it has had to rebuild roads leading to the nation’s ports in conjunction with Flour Mills.
Absence of finance is also a limiting factor, as agriculture requires patient capital which most of the banks in the country are unable to provide.