The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has disclosed that he has been engaged in strategic investments in the country in a bid to compliment the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Dangote said his investments in agriculture and fertilizer production are in that direction.
Dangote spoke just as the flagship of the conglomerate, the Dangote Cement Plc, commenced the training of its newly engaged managers in order to sustain its leadership and competitiveness in the industry.
He said at the weekend that the decision of the Government at diversifying the economy away from oil only to an agriculture centered one remains the viable solution to creating a healthy economy and that the private sector has important roles to play, which was why he has taken up the challenge to lead the way as a leading private sector operator.
Dangote, who spoke with newsmen at the weekend in Lagos, said it was because of his belief in the government approach at re-energizing the economy and making it export oriented, that made him to step up his investment in agriculture, especially in the area of food sufficiency.
According to him, Nigeria has wasted so much foreign exchange importing foods that ordinarily should be produced locally and even exported and that until a new approach at redirecting the economy from import dependent to an export one, which the present government is leading, no meaningful changes can happen.
Dangote said: “We have invested massively in rice, sugar, diary products and tomato.
“Our rice outgrower scheme will produce rice by next year and that will reduce our rice import to nearly zero because Nigeria imports more than half of the rice it consumes.
“We have expanded our sugar operations with our operations in Tonga in Nasarawa in addition to Numan sugar projects where sugarcane is being planted for raw sugar production that will be refined.”
Dangote Cement’s new managers who were inducted weekend at the Dangote Academy, Ikeja, Lagos, are being trained under the newly established scheme: Management Trainees Programme.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Cement Plc, Joseph Makoju, lauded the programme, saying it would support the overall drive of the conglomerate.
Makoju said the management scheme was part of the effort of the conglomerate “to sustain our exponential growth, competitiveness and market leadership”.
He said: “We are committed to attract top talents into our business for our current and future business needs.
“The fact that you are sitting here today among the top 20 candidates selected for the pilot scheme out of over 16,000 interested applicants speaks volume of your quality and expected potential as future business leaders.”
Makoju told the management trainees, who are expected to spend 18 months before being absorbed, that the management of Dangote cement has a high expectation of them in many areas, including Customer focus in service delivery, entrepreneurial mindset, continuous professional development, innovativeness/creativity, critical thinking, discipline, integrity, interpersonal skills in a multi-cultural business environment and value addition.
Makoju urged the new would-be managers to be steadfast and prepare to work hard.
The Dangote Academy runs Graduate Engineer Trainees Scheme, Junior Technicians Scheme, Management Skills and Leadership training scheme.
Only recently, the Academy inaugurated 100 new students under its Junior Technicians Scheme.
The Academy has now trained and employed over 700 engineers and technicians between 2011 and 2018.
Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46Mta capacity across Africa.
A fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer, the company has a production capacity of 29.25Mta in its home market, Nigeria.
In addition, it has operations in Cameroon (1.5Mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta import), Ethiopia (2.5Mta), Senegal (1.5Mta), Sierra Leone (0.5Mta import), South Africa (2.8Mta), Tanzania (3.0Mta) and Zambia (1.5Mta) among others.