Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and president of the Dangote Group, has said that the current negative situation of the economy should push people to work harder, in terms of diversifying the economy.
He also said he was of the opinion that the Federal Government should no longer give bailouts to state governments, as they tend to be lazy and unimaginative.
He made this known in Lagos on Friday where he was honoured as “Man of the Year 2015” by The Guardian Newspapers Limited, restating his commitment to assist the Federal Government in turning around and diversifying the country’s economy
He said his group of companies was going to put more energy into the economy “by looking at critical areas where Nigeria is not doing well in terms of local production and tackle the problem areas.”
“Number one is refinery, Dangote Group is building a refinery, which will produce 650,000 barrels of petrol per day; the current capacity that we have as a country now, both the ones that are working and the ones not working, is just 450,000 barrels per day.
“Our petrochemical is 10 times that of Eleme, we are at 1.3 million, Eleme is 120,000, so it will be the largest petrochemical industry in Africa.
“In fertilizer production, we are not only trying to satisfy the market, but our size is three million tonnes, which is 10 times more than what is available in Nigeria today.
“We are trying to make sure we satisfy the local needs and also export and we thought about how to address our power issues, the only way we can address power issues is to have enough gas and sort out distribution.
“Distribution is important because unless you collect money from the consumers, you cannot grow.
“There are two sub-sea gas pipelines coming from Bonny, which will produce about three billion volume of gas, which is exactly about the same size of LNG.
“We are committed to turning around the economy of Nigeria and in the next two and a half years, Nigeria will be the highest oil petroleum products export country, the highest in terms of fertilizer export, the highest in petrochemicals export. Nigeria will also be the highest in terms of cement export in Africa,” he said.
Speaking on bailouts for the states, Dangote declared that: “I don’t believe the Federal Government should continue to be bailing out the states; the states have to sit down and plan to cut costs instead of looking for bailout and being lazy.
“They can create jobs and give incentives to people to come and invest, they should assure people that they are not going to be slammed with various taxes, which is what some of them do,” he said.