President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangot,e 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.
The African richest man said Nasarawa State has met what he identified as the “three requirements for environments suitable for investments and doing business.”
Dangote, who was one of the speakers at the inaugural Nasarawa Investment Summit with the theme: “Diamond in the Rough: The making of new investment frontiers” in Nasarawa State yesterday, said the first requirement is the need for “a committed and focused leader with a clear vision for the people”.
Second, according to him, is a well-thought-out institutional framework that enables the creation of a sustainable, conducive environment for businesses and investments.
Third, 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 make 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.
Speaking further, he said, “Some of us here have already seen the light and are committed to investing big time in Nasarawa state.
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.
He said this is “just the beginning,” as his company is also considering other investment areas like rice processing which he said he would be “discussing with the governor very soon.”
While commending and thanking the state for “the opportunity to invest and participate in the shared prosperity,” the Dangote group he said, remains committed to partnering with the state and to continue investing for the good of the people of Nasarawa state.
On his part, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described the theme as pragmatic and forward-looking.
He said the state is well endowed, adding that any government that wants more investors must be very pragmatic.
“The crucial component of these, are the clarity of vision of the governor of Nasarawa State and his team,” he said.
The vice president said the state’s potential can only shine after polishing, adding that there are many sides to the investment in the state.
“The mineral resources in the state are enormous and that is why it is called the home of solid minerals,” he said.
Speaking further, Osinbajo said Sule had initiated a lot of projects and programmes that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The progress made by the governor, according to the vice president, included the introduction of a central billing system to block leakages in internal revenue generation.
The governor was also lauded for completing Lafia Cargo Airport, Kwandare, the bus terminals in Karu and Lafia as well the public sector reform by trimming down the number of ministries.
Others are stability in power supply and the federal government approval of the revitalization of Akwanga substation.
Former president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama in a keynote address titled: “Building An African Continent” lamented that Nigeria often moves one step forward and two steps backward.
“The Nigeria of yesterday is far away from the present day Nigeria,” he said.
Suggesting the need for African leaders to invest in infrastructure and energy to address population expulsion, he opined overstretched the existing infrastructures.