Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said he would invest about $20 billion in the economy in the next five years.
Dangote who stated this after receiving the 2016 African Business Leader award from a United States based non-governmental organisation, Africa- America Institute (AAI), said the money would go into projects ranging from petroleum refinery, petrochemicals, fertilizer, gas pipeline, backward integration in sugar and rice production.
This was despite the ongoing economic recession confronting Nigeria at the moment. “Despite the current economic challenges, we will continue to scale up the value of our investments not only in Nigeria, but also across the entire continent, because we believe in Nigeria and Africa’s potential.”
“We believe that it is only by sustained massive investments in infrastructure across the continent, supported with access to education, that Africa can reach its full potential,” he noted.
Specifically he said, “Over the next few years, we will be investing nearly $20 billion in projects ranging from a petroleum refinery, petrochemicals, fertilizer, gas pipeline, backward integration in sugar and rice production.
These projects will create over 250,000 jobs, provide foreign exchange earnings and savings of $16 billion for the country, and help to diversify our economy. “Central to this developmental trajectory is the need for capacity building and ramping up of the quality of skills of a fast growing African workforce.”
In recognition of his immense contribution to human capital development in Africa through the establishment of businesses across the African continent, the business guru was named and presented the award at a colorful ceremony held on the sideline of the United Nations Congress held in New York.
Reacting to the recognition, Dangote said he was humbled considering the pedigree of the award, which celebrates African achievement at the global stage.
At the Gala award with the theme: “Education: The Key to Africa’s Economic Growth,” Dangote expressed delight that the Institute brought education in Africa to the front burner, noting that he had always been passionate about education because it is a weapon of liberation.
Drawing reference from Nelson Mandela quote, Dangote said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” He said that he identified with laudable initiatives that seek to promote educational growth and development, particularly in Africa.
“As a matter of fact, I am a founding member of the Gordon Brownled Global Business Coalition for Education,” he said.
“Education is also one of the cardinal areas that the Aliko Dangote Foundation focuses on. I believe quality and affordable education will address the immense social and economic inequalities that often breed discontent in many parts of Africa. ”