• The Chairman of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has requested for a 50,000-hectare of land in Niger to enable the company to cultivate rice and sugarcane.

He made the request on Friday in Minna when he visited Gov. Babangida Aliyu at his residence.

He said ``my visit here is about a rice industry that we want to set up.

``We are looking at investing in the state. It is not only my company, but also an out-grower system so that we would be able to empower people.’’

Dangote, however, said that the company’s investment plan for commercial farming would depend on the land it would get, with the company providing 70 per cent of the investment, while out-grower farmers account for 30 per cent.

The business mogul described the state as the most conducive for farming ``because of its abundant land and good soil for rice and sugarcane cultivation.

``Niger State is a place to do lots of rice because it has good land and fertile soil for rice cultivation and water is available.

``If we can have anything over and above 50,000 hectares, then the investment will be in billions.

``It is a way of taking people out of poverty and taking them to the next level, which is the middle class or above the average so that we can reduce the pressure on government.’’

He then expressed the hope for good partnership with the state government and the out-grower farmers.

Responding, Gov. Aliyu assured him of the state government’s response to his request for the land in the next three weeks.


He expressed happiness over the company’s investment plan in the state. (NAN)

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