The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday blurted out his frustration over the inability of Nigeria to provide stable electricity for its citizens.
“How do you have economic growth without power? So, no power, no growth because without power there can’t be growth.
“Egypt increased its electricity by 10 gigawatts, which is equivalent to 10,000 megawatts in 18 months.
“In Nigeria, we have been struggling for 18 years without adding 1,000 megawatts and we have spent about three times above Egypt, why? So, I think we all need to be concerned about that,” Africa’s richest man said in Lagos on Saturday at a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) consultative roundtable titled, “Going for Growth” with some economic stakeholders.
Dangote also said that the availability of consumer credit facility is an important option in fighting corruption in the country.
He charged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks in the country to develop consumer credit products to encourage low-income earners to access loans.
Dangote advised that the country needed to promote import substitution for foreign exchange accumulation through proceeds from exports.
He called for public-private partnership to boost the non-oil sector of the economy, and added that Nigerians should invest in the development of the non-oil sector which had been left in the hands of foreigners.
“Government need to encourage non-oil sector growth rather than depending on proceeds from crude oil to pay salaries.
“Proceeds from crude oil sale should be for major investment in the country,” he said.
He urged the Federal Government to improve more on the power sector, saying “no business will thrive with business owners generating powers themselves”.
Dangote said that all stakeholders must come together and support the government in finding solution to the power challenges facing the country.
Apart from power, Dangote suggested that government focuses more on finance, manufacturing and agriculture.
According to him, the Asian Tigers concentrated on these three sectors to achieve economic success for their countries.
He further urged the government to focus more on the fiscal policies for the country to move to the next level.
The business mogul said by next year, the country would have exported eight million tonnes of cement to African countries from the present six million tonnes.
Dangote added that Nigeria would also be the biggest exporter of fertilizers in sub-Sahara Africa.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, noted that government policies had supported production of petroleum, cement and fertilizers.
Ovia commended the government on broadband penetration in the country, saying it had boosted banking activities.