By The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam — Mr Aliko Dangote, a major investor in Tanzania’s cement manufacturing industry, did not castigate Tanzania’s investment policy, a statement released on Wednesday said.
Mr Dangote was quoted by a Financial Times article on Monday as saying President John Magufuli’s investment policies could ‘scare away investors from the country.’ But the statement by the Africa Press Organisation (APO) said Mr Dangote’s comments was blown out of proportion.
“Investors at the one-day Financial Times Africa Summit which hosted the live interview with Africa’s most prominent industrialist seemed to agree that Dangote had not ‘accused’ the Tanzanian President, but had only warned that policies need to be clearly defined and investors need to be reassured that their investments are safe. “There was nothing at all in Mr Dangote’s comments directed to President Magufuli,” one attendee remarked.
The statement tried to put into context Mr Dangote’s comments at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London;
“When Financial Times editor Lionel Barber asked Nigerian business leader Aliko Dangote in a live interview at the FT Africa Summit on Monday about his relationship with Tanzanian President Magufuli, Mr Dangote smiled and replied positively, ‘It’s okay. I can always call him; I have his mobile number, and he listens to me.'”
The statement continues; “Asked to comment on investment policies across Africa, Dangote, whose $620 million investment in a cement factory in Mtwara is among the largest in that country, went on to say that Tanzania’s general policies ‘need to be looked at’. Sharing his experience as one of Africa’s most prominent investors with operations in 17 countries Dangote explained that policies scare away investors and that once an investor has left ‘it is very difficult to bring that investor back.'”
The statement further says when Mr Dangote referred to Tanzania’s investment law concerning the extractive industries which requires foreign investors to yield 16 per cent “free carried interests” to the government, he did clarify that this was not applicable to cement.
“Sometimes it is just a matter of communication”, Dangote was quoted by the AP statement as saying when describing how investors sort out contractual arrangements with foreign governments.