The Federal Government on Sunday commended the Dangote Group for its proposed plan to expand its domestic revenue generation drive from $4 billion to $30 billion annually from 2021 to boost the nation’s economy.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, gave the commendation during an inspection of the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer Projects and the Deep-water Jetty at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
Ahmed commended the foresight and tenacity of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of the Dangote Group, for pursuing the huge projects despite various challenges.
She pledged the Federal Government’s continued support for local businesses to thrive and attract investors.
She said: “Dangote Group is creating a large export industry that will help to bring in foreign exchange into the country reserves and as a business, he will be growing his revenue base from $4 billion to $30 billion.
“We are very confident that once Dangote Refinery commences operations, it will save us over $10 billion that Nigeria was spending on importing oil and it will also help us to build local capacity and create jobs.”
Ahmed said the savings from such an investment would strengthen Nigeria’s macro economy to attract more investors.
The minister said the opportunities were good for the Dangote Group but would be better for Nigeria, which would enjoy several benefits.
She said Dangote Group had the capacity to fund the infrastructure needs of the ambitious projects and would continue to enjoy government’s waivers available to other businesses in the nation.
Ahmed added that the projects had begun to create thousands of jobs and bringing several specialisations and skills to Nigeria.
Dangote said the firm had adopted measures that would help it to expand its revenue base from $4 billion to $30 billion annually, beginning from 2021.
He said the firm was ready to transform the nation’s domestic market by providing forex through expanded operations capacity of its group in the refinery, petrochemical, fertilizer and other supporting projects.
He said: “Our refinery can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirements of all liquid products such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene and aviation jet.
“It will also have surplus of each of these products for export.”
Dangote added that the ongoing projects at the Lekki Free Trade Zone had the capacity to generate about 32,000 direct and indirect jobs during and after completion.
He said: “With the new areas of investments, we are doing just $4 billion of revenue now.
“By the time we finish and beginning from 2021, we will be having $30 billion of revenue because we will by then have the refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer all coming on stream.
“Also, over a million tons of rice.
“We will have about 600,000 tons of locally made sugar by that time and our cement will have gone further.
“And beginning from January next year, eight million export facility of our cement company to other Africa countries to generate foreign exchange will commence operations.”
Dangote said the firm was targeting to meet the nation’s forex needs through its huge investment by turning around the group’s entire $20 billion investment.
He said this would yield the annual $30 billion domestic revenue.
He said the firm had been able to meet its energy needs and called on other private sector investors to partner government in power supply to have a meaningful GDP growth.
Dangote said: “By the time we finish this refinery and other projects, for us as a company we are going to record a major change, we are looking at moving from $4 billion revenue to $30 billion revenue.
“That will strengthen us to invest more money in our domestic economy.
“We don’t want Nigeria to be an import base economy but rather an export base economy.
“We have tried that in cement and it has really worked in the sense that we are looking at exporting almost $500 million worth of cement in the next one to two years.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the minister later inspected the ongoing Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki Expressway project under reconstruction.
Ahmed commended the quality of rigid pavement being constructed.
The minister said that 19 roads across the country were being built under the tax credit scheme which Dangote Group leveraged on to take up the project.
Ahmed called on other private sector investors to buy into the scheme to bridge road infrastructure gap in the nation.
“This is the kind of standard that we want roads to have in Nigeria,” she said.