BusinessDay

Dangote pledges to top $500m investment in Nasarawa

...says state meets all requirements for investors

Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote group and Africa’s richest man, has said that his company, which is already investing $500 million into a Sugar project in Nasarawa State, would be committing to more investments in the state. Nasarawa, he said, has met what he identified as the three requirements for environments suitable for investments and doing business.

“Some of us here have already seen the light and are committed to investing big time in Nasarawa state,” said Dangote, who was one of the speakers at the inaugural Nasarawa Investment Summit that started Wednesday.

The first requirement, according to Dangote, is the need for “a committed and focused leader with a clear vision for the people”. Secondly, a well- thought-out institutional framework that enables the creation of a sustainable, conducive environment for businesses and investments.

Thirdly, he said the state must develop a credible and comprehensive development plan that identifies investment opportunities and projects, prioritising them in line with socio-economic development objectives, and backs them up with supporting government policies and regulations that makes these investment objectives competitive vis-a-vis similar projects in other investment destinations.

“Now, here is the good news, I can say with confidence that Nasarawa state has put in place all the three requirements that guarantee the attainment of the goals of this summit,” he said.

Dangote Group, as he said, has already launched a project for 240,000 metric tonnes per annum of sugar worth an estimated $500 million on 68,000 hectares of land, which was granted by the state. This, he said, is “just the beginning,” as his company is also considering other investment areas like in rice processing. On the proposed rice processing investment, he announced to the audience that he would be “discussing that with the Governor very soon.”

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While commending and thanking the state for “the opportunity to invest and participate in the shared prosperity,” the Dangote group he said, remains committed in partnering with the state and to continue investing for the good of the people of Nasarawa state.

As earlier elucidated by Dangote, the three requirements of a viable state for investments and how Nasarawa has checked the boxes, starting with leadership, he said “the state has the leadership, the vision and commitment to achieve”.

He had further recalled that Abdullahi Sule, the incumbent state Governor, a former employee, as group managing Director, Dangote Sugar, was “one of the visionary leaders that made the success of Dangote sugar processing”.

On the second parameter, Dangote said since the governor was elected to office, he has worked hard to articulate the state’s development strategy, the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS),which aims to position the state among the top three investment destinations in Nigeria.

In checking off the third parameter, Dangote highlighted the Nasarawa State Investment and Development Agency (NASIDA) that will serve as “the engine room of the state’s economic development”. This, he explained, will fulfil the third requirement of a government institution, deliberately put in place to achieve its set socio-economic objectives.

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