Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, has advised Nigerians to encourage governments at all levels to implement reforms that will help in achieving a more diversified economy.
He further hinted that he will create over 200,000 new jobs through some of his investments in the agricultural sector in the northern part of the country between now and 2018.
According to him, the Dangote Group has commenced the production of rice in Jigawa at competitive price, as part of the national quest to be self sufficient in rice production.
“Dangote Group is working to increase yield of rice per hectare from the present 1.4 to maximum 2 tonnes per hectare in Jigawa state.
“ Already a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the Dangote Group to produce rice in Jigawa on a rice value chain, from planting to retaining, the company will be cultivating 16,000 hectares, and as well as develop an out-grower scheme using the same technology, and the same arrangement to produce another 16,000 hectares” he pointed out.
He said that the current reality prevailing in the international oil market provides the best opportunity for the nation to diversify the economy, leveraging on the agriculture sector.
Dangote, who made this disclosure at the just concluded Katsina State Investment & Economic Summit, specifically wants the state governors to take advantage of the prevailing situation, just as the federal government has commenced process of diversification at the national level
“I believe this is the best period in the history of our country to actually diversify our economy, rather than seeing the current happenings from a negative perspective
“It was under this same kind of situation that countries like Brazil, transformed their economies, and today they have become one of the leading economies in the world.
“We are lucky that the glut we are talking about only affects the oil sector, and does not affect commodities which we have the capacity to export in the agriculture sector” he noted.
Accordingly, Dangote stated that since the northern part of the country, possesses vast potentials in the field of agriculture, state governments in the region must put more practical efforts to transform the sector.
“For them to maximize the available resources to address the issue of poverty, and particularly, the high level of unemployment prevailing in the region, they must put in place policies that can attract investors within and outside the country” he said addressing the northern states.