The Federal Government requires up to $20 billion in fresh funds to revive the economy from recession, the President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has said.
According to the businessman, efforts should be intensified at restoring investors’ confidence to attract the needed funds.
Dangote is hopeful that the nation will come out of recession in the first quarter of 2017 if the government could get its priorities right and implement the right policies.
He stressed the need for government to address foreign exchange challenges if it wants private sector operators to increase their stakes in the diversification agenda.
According to him, diversification from oil cannot be achieved if there is little or no foreign exchange available for private sector operators.
Besides, Dangote has unveiled plans to invest in dairy business to address dependence on import in the sector.
According to him, 98 per cent of the country’s demand for dairy products is being imported, stressing that plans are on to turn around the nation’s milk industry over the next three years.
“We are already discussing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to kick-start this project. We believe we can do a lot to bridge the importation gap by developing local production of this product because we have the competitive and comparative advantages.”
He spoke during a courtesy visit by the Executive MBA students of the Lagos Business School (LBS) to his refinery in Lagos.
Dangote who expressed optimism that the country would get out of the current precarious state, however, argued that this could only be achieved if the right support would be given to the Organised Private Sector (OPS) through adequate foreign exchange supply, infrastructural development as well as consistent and favourable economic policies.
“Nigeria has what it takes to be great again. I believe so much in the Nigerian economy and if the right things are done, we should get out of the economic recession by first quarter in 2017. The private sector is huge and I think we will get out of the recession as soon as possible,” he said.
In his presentation tagged the “Role of business in driving sustainable development in Africa – The story of Dangote group,” he said the group had grown from a commodity trading company to a more diversified conglomerate over the last two decades.
The businessman added that the group’s operation was underpinned by five key pillars which are to provide basic needs, substitute imports and earn foreign exchange from exports, execute efficiently new plants and technologies, operate effectively by entering new markets with highest quality products, entering into strategic partnerships and investing in human capacity development.
“We are top 10 in Africa and top 400 globally. We are globally competitive, growing local capacity, manufacturing quality products, rapidly transforming from a Nigerian company to a dominant African brand and our revenues and profitability have continued to grow,” he said.