Monday, March 7, 2016 2:28 pm
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man , said on Monday that in its Group’s diversification into agriculture, it plans to produce one million tonnes of rice in five years.
Nigeria at present imports 2.8million tonnes of the product from Asia, most of it smuggled.
“Our projects are mainly import substitution.” he said. “We are working to be self-sufficient,” Dangote told a business forum in Lagos today.
The Dangote Group are into cement, oil, sugar and agriculture, in which it is expanding rapidly.
Dangote also told the forum that his company will be importing phosphate from Morocco and potash from Congo-Brazzaville to feed a planned fertilizer plant in Lagos. His firm, he said is close to inking a deal for the phosphate.
Dangote has raised a $3.3 billion loan to develop a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Nigeria. The group has invested $3.5 billion of its own equity.
He also said his planned oil refinery would have a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd), up from an initial plan of 400,000 bpd.
“We can actually build … 30 percent cheaper than previously,” Dangote said, referring to lower construction cost as a result of cheap global steel prices.
The refinery and petrochemical complex will go online around 2018, company officials have said.
He said Dangote Group was also constructing a gas pipeline beneath the sea to link Nigeria’s oil-producing Delta region to West Africa.
The pipeline will be able to transport 1.5 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day, he said, without giving more details.