By Alphonsus E.W
Chairman of Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s largest cement producer, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has revealed plans to boost local rice production in Nigeria and end rice importation in the country with an initial N50 billion investment.
Aliko Dangote made the disclosure at the just-concluded Davos-based World Economic Forum (WEF) adding that the planned investment was motivated by recent favourable agricultural reforms by the Nigerian government.
“If I dreamt five years ago that I would invest in agriculture, I will write it off as bad dream or nightmare,” he says. But today, the billionaire industrialist says Nigeria “has one of the most attractive investment policies through framework that the government has put in place to help businesses succeed.”
Nigeria, the world’s most populous black nation, with a population of over 160 million people produces approximately 5 million tonnes of rice annually and imports an estimated 3 million tonnes to meet demand.
Reputed to be Africa’s richest man, Dangote who is currently making investments to end sugar importation in Nigeria, doggedly ended the cement importation in Nigeria with the establishment of 3 plants with a combine production capacity of 25m metric tonnes per annum. His company, Dangote Cement has expanded operations to West and East Africa.