Manufacturing company known as Dangote Group has reiterated its readiness to support the federal republic of Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan to boost the economy of the nation, with the optimism that with its ongoing agricultural projects across the country, Nigeria is on its way of being self-sufficient in the areas of food production.
The Group reiterated its determination to support the Federal Government in its effort to revolutionize the agricultural sector and make Nigeria self-dependent in the areas of food production. The Group which is reputed to be the single largest private sector employer of labour in Nigeria is currently investing in fertilizer, rice and tomato paste together with sugar production, among others. The Group is also building a 650,000bpd petroleum refinery which will be the single largest in the world.
Only last year the Group signed a Memorandum of Association (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to invest $1billion for the establishment of fully integrated rice production and processing operations across the country.
The statement said the MoU and the planned investment are a response to government reforms of the Agricultural Transforming Agenda (ATA) launched in 2011. The statement said the Group has acquired farmlands in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Niger States totaling 150,000 hectares to be used for commercial production of rice paddy. The company will also establish two modern large scale mills each with capacity to mill 120,000 metric tonnes of rice paddy, while doubling the capacity within two years. The statement said this will become the single largest investment in rice production in Africa.
The rice plants estimated to produce 960,000 metric tonnes, representing 46 percent of total rice imported into Nigeria. Group President Aliko Dangote had said during the signing of the MoU that Nigeria,”is capable of producing rice that can feed the whole of West African sub region.” A statement from the Dangote Group also said it is investing in tomato paste production in Kano, as well as a $2billion fertilizer projects in Edo State.
The statement said however, the Group’s foray into agric and food processing business began in 1997 when it keyed into the backward integration policy of the government in sugar sub-sector of the nation’s economy.
Culled from Moments Nigeria