Dangote To Generate 12,000mw Of Electricity By 2018
SAN FRANCISCO, March 08, (THEWILL) – The President, Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote, has declared that his company should be able to generate about 12,000 megawatts of electricity for the country by 2018 and his business estate would start selling foreign exchange to the Central Bank of Nigeria by 2020.
Dangote, who spoke in Lagos at the Nigerian Economic Summit organised by Economist Events, an arm of The Economist of London, added that the fall in crude oil price was not a curse but the nation must use the opportunity to explore the potential in other sectors of the economy.
“We are looking at a situation that by 2020, we will be the one selling FX to the 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,” he said.
“Our gas project would have our gas pipelines on the seabed. The output should be able to provide about 12,000MW of power. We see a lot of transformation when we are done with most of our projects by 2018.
“This is the right moment to pursue the diversification of the economy, which we have been talking about. I know that once oil gets back to $80 per barrel, we will go back to the same mis-behaviour.
“But I think this is the right time for that. Government must come up with the right policy, because if we don't do it now, we may not do it. But low prices do not mean doom. In 1998-1999, the price of oil was $9. What we need to do is just to block the leakages and pursue diversification.”
According to Dangote, the monthly revenue inflow from oil, which used to be $3.2bn, is now around $1bn, and this has caused a number of challenges for businesses in the country.
The Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, on his part, said a number of manufacturers were facing hard times due to their inability to access forex to buy raw materials.
“We have a lot of manufacturers who have to rely on forex for their raw materials but who are going through tough times. However, are there opportunities? I believe there are. I think it is time for us to move towards import-substitution,” he said.
“Even for those who have to source their raw materials locally, there is a value chain effect. If the entire value chain in a production process is not sorted out, we will have a problem. So, access to foreign currencies for raw materials is important. However, it is important that people start looking at how to use local raw materials to produce.”
On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the Federal Government was focusing on creating an enabling business environment to attract investment and fast-track industrialisation.
He noted that efforts were being made to give adequate support to Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises adding that President Buhari had made employment, local production and inclusive economy growth top priorities.
Story by David Oputah