The richest African alive and also president of Dangote group, Aliko Dangote has predicted that his business estate would start selling foreign exchange to the Central Bank of Nigeria by 2020.
Speaking at The Nigeria Summit hosted by The Economist, Dangote stated that the problems facing the Nigerian economy should not be blamed on the dwindling price of oil, as the same oil traded for $9 per barrel in 1998.
He also said that by 2018, his company should generate about 12,000 megawatts of electricity for Nigeria by 2018.
He said: “We are looking at a situation that by 2020 we are the one selling FX to CBN. Our projects are mainly import substitution. We are working to be self-sufficient to grow about a million tonnes of rice over the next five years.”
“Our gas project would have our gas pipelines on the sea bed. The output should be able to provide about 12,000MW power. We see a lot of transformation when we are done with most of our projects by 2018.”
“We have 15 countries in the ECOWAS community that is duty-free. Export market is big and profitable if you have capacity. Players in the manufacturing should be encouraged to export if they have the capacity. We must also meet local consumption.”
He also charged the government not to forsake the diversification of the economy even when the price of oil bounces back to normal.
“Diversification of the economy should be given priority, if we do not do it now, maybe we never will. People sometimes underestimate the economy of Nigeria by simply looking at the FX situation.”
“Lower oil prices does not spell doom. In 1998 oil price fell to $9. There are opportunities in every ‘crisis’ situation. Once oil gets back to $80, we forget about diversifying the economy. Now is the time to diversify the economy.”