Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, says that the constitution of economic management team by President Muhammadu Buhari will further strengthen investors’ confidence and boost economic growth.
Dangote gave the commendation on Thursday in Lagos during the inauguration of the Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers’ Federation (CANMPEF) House.
He said that Dangote’s operations had continued to thrive, thus investing in capacity expansion due to the enabling environment created by the government’s economic policies.
“In Nigeria alone, we have 29 million tons installed capacity for cement production and we will be at 35 million by 2020.
“We have contributed hugely to the nation’s successful transition from being at one time the world’s largest importer of cement to the position we are today where we not only are self-sufficient in cement, but indeed are net exporters of cement.
“Dangote Cement Plc alone provides employment to over 25,000 people across the nation,” he said.
He advised that the Federal Government should dialogue with its counterparts in Benin and Niger Republic on the partial closure of the borders.
“We can now sit down and set the rules on how to operate the border because obviously we cannot allow smuggling activities to kill our industries.
“Obviously, we want to create more jobs, but if we allow smuggling to wipe out our industries the way it did to the textile sector then obviously we are in trouble.
“For example, Benin Republic has no reason to allow parboiled rice to be landing in Benin because they do not eat parboiled rice in Benin, but white rice.
“One of the dialogue could be no more parboiled rice in transit to Benin under any guise, that way we can save millions of farmers and create more jobs,” he said.
Dangote commended CANMPEF for the successful completion of the house and its continued significant roles in driving the economic development of the country since its inception in 1978.
“I am told that CANMPEF House was built at a cost of about N85 million and that it is a multipurpose facility that will cater for a wide range of developmental work,” he said.
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that government was committed to ensuring the continuous growth of CANMPEF’s activities because of its immense potential to drive industrialisation, job creation and economic growth.
Adebayo, represented by Amb. Maryam Katangum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the ministry had commenced review of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIPR) to enhance government’s diversification and industrialisation plan.
He commended CANMPEF for its role in strengthening the manufacturing sector and welfare of employers, adding that CANMPEF House would promote better synergy for economic growth.
Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, said that the CANMPEF House would serve as a one-stop centre for investors and stakeholders to interact and harmonise relations for higher productivity.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Dr Lola Akande, Lagos Commissioner for Industry and Cooperative, said that the location of the building was a testament to the growing profile of Lagos as an attraction for socio-economic activities.
Mr Edwin Devakumar, President of CANMPEF, said that the Federation stood resolute in serving the interest of its members and urged government to continue to ease the business environment for investment to thrive.