“The intention is to create an industrial city, which we really don’t have in Nigeria. The industrial site I can assure you, in the next five years, will be the largest industrial complex in Africa, not only in Nigeria,” the Dangote group’s CEO Aliko Dangote told CNBC Africa.
Dangote Industries clinched a 3.3 billion dollar loan agreement from several local and foreign banks on Wednesday. The loan is for an oil refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser plant in Nigeria, which is expected to create 9,500 jobs.
“This is the largest fertiliser plant at a single location anywhere in the world. We already have some of the money coming in as part of the other 2.25 billion. As a company we are putting three and a half billion dollars. Money is not an issue, we have all the funds,” Dangote explained.
“Right now the manufacturing sector is only contributing four per cent to GDP – we believe that our company alone will contribute 10 per cent in terms of contribution to GDP. That’s the target and that’s what we want to achieve in the next four years.”
Dangote insists that the plant’s capacity is adequate for the time being but trusts that things will change going forward.
“If things do change where Nigeria becomes more serious with agriculture, we’ll bring in several other people who believe in commercial agriculture. To consume our capacity is going to take maybe seven to eight years, by that time we’ll be planning to improve and increase the capacity,” he said.
“When you look at fertilisers, you have to export and our area of focus is sub-Saharan Africa or South America – we look at the distance and also the location. Brazil imports quite a lot of agricultural products.”