By NDUBI MVULA -
AFRICA’s richest man and Chief Executive Officer for Dangote Group Aliko Dangote says he will invest in other business sectors.
Mr Dangote has since described the level of investment he has made in Zambia like putting up a cement and power plants as very exciting business ventures.
He says as an entrepreneurship company, Dangote is looking at more than what is on the ground as the company envisages expanding its investment in other sectors.
Mr Dangote who arrived in the country around 09:00 hours yesterday was speaking at Pamodzi Hotel during a meeting with Minister of Finance Felix Mutati yesterday.
He commended the Zambian government for the warm relationship his firm is enjoying in the country adding that it was Mr Mutati who single-handedly welcomed him when he was Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
“You are the person who brought us to Zambia, single handedly. When we came here more than ten times, we were not sure whether to invest or not but eventually we were able to invest more than what we had planned for. It’s been a very exciting investment,” he said.
He said as Africans, investors do not invest for a short time but a longer period and added that he will look at other sectors where to extend the investment.
Mr Dangote revealed that in Nigeria he is building a refinery to handle 650,000 barrels of oil, second largest fertiliser plant in the world to produce 3 million tons to 4.3 million tons by 2020.
He also says he will build a gas pipeline to supply Lagos up to Ghana but has invested largely in agriculture in rice and sugar.
On human resources, he says the company will grow ten times in three years adding since the world economy is a little bit shaky that was an advantage for him to invest.
“We are here to stay. We are here to invest our money. I would like to thank President Lungu and the entire government for making life easier for us by creating an enabling environment for us to operate and we would like to partner with government to create more jobs in Zambia. I can assure you that we will continue with the nationalisation concept by making sure that not less than 95 percent of staff are locals,” he said.
And Minister of Fianance has asked Mr Dangote to continue putting pressure on the production of cement in Zambia so that the price can come down further for the benefit of the man on the street who is looking forward to building.
He said within the context of the continent Mr Dangote as the giant of Africa is providing leadership in the creation of job and alleviation of poverty.
He praised Mr Dangote for providing competition in Zambia in the cement industry and asked him to continue putting pressure so that the prices can go down.
“For us in Zambia what is more important is the level of competition that you have brought in the sector of cement industry. Today the construction sector is booming in Zambia because the market is competitive. What we would ask is to continue putting pressure so that that man on the street can benefit,” he said.
Mr Mutati said cement at the time Dangote was entering the market was the most challenging product but today the construction industry is booming because cement is now competitive.
“We will continue to look up to you for addition investment. What we have is tremendous but there is need for improvement,’’ he said.
In 2015 Dangote Cement launched new plants in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zambia and Tanzania.