The popular commercial tycoon and the chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, called for more seriousness in dealing with the diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
The tycoon disclosed this on Wednesday as he approached participants at a consultative roundtable organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja.
Dangote regretted hearing about the diversification of Nigeria’s economy since 1979, but now is the time to take things more seriously.
“The diversification of this economy is very important. Since I arrived in Lagos in 1979, people have been talking about diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
“I think we really need this time, to be more serious not to continue talking about diversification. It is possible, but people are not really focused on that.
“We need to find a solution on how to make our country produce the things we consume,” he said.
Suggesting ways to diversify the economy, Dangote said more attention should be paid to the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
“Manufacturing creates many jobs and transforms countries. These are the areas we really need to focus on, ”he said.
Dangote also advised that more attention should be paid to the local market to boost exports.
According to him, “We import almost everything we consume in Nigeria. We need the sales sector. ”
Is diversification impossible?
Dangote rejected the belief that diversifying Nigeria’s economy is impossible.
He stressed that this can be accomplished through a joint effort by business people and the Nigerian government.
According to Dangote, businessmen have a role to play in diversifying the economy, leaving their comfort zones and joining hands to boost the manufacturing sector.
The role of the Nigerian government, among other factors, said Dangote, is to reduce the cost of doing business and employ consistent economic policies.
Dangote also highlighted the efforts that have been implemented by his organization to diversify the economy.
He revealed that Dangote Cement has made efforts to ensure that “Nigeria is Africa’s largest cement exporter” and also by the end of this year the Dangote group will ensure that Nigeria “can produce 1 million tonnes of rice.”
He also spoke about the oil sector – “The moment we start our refinery, in oil products, Nigeria will be Africa’s largest exporter of oil products.”
“So, you can see that yes, it is possible to diversify the economy,” concluded Dangote.