Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has listed three major challenges facing Nigeria’s economy that the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari needs to tackle.
According to Dangote, Buhari needs to make unemployment, increased power generation and corruption his top priorities after his swearing-in on May 29.
Speaking in an interview with This Day, Dangote pointed out that the business community in the country is set to back Buhari’s administration.
He explained that with President Goodluck Jonathan conceding defeat, the confidence of investors all over the world has been boosted, adding that the business community would wax stronger if the president-elect tackles some urgent needs of the economy.
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Speaking on unemployment, Dangote said: “It is a great and pervasive problem in Nigeria. But the point must be made that it is not peculiarly a Nigerian problem. All over the world, there are growing issues of unemployment. And what we are saying is that the in-coming government can achieve a remarkable success in this regard if it declares an emergency on unemployment and tackle it decisively. You know the organised private sector will or should play a key role in this. And that is why we are concerned.”
He further lamented the extent of damage corruption has done to Nigerian economy, describing it as a “big cankerworm that has really eaten deep into the fabric of our nation.”
“The malaise of corruption is a threat to the survival of the Nigeria economy, no doubt. We must all therefore rise in unison to tackle the menace both in the public and private sector of the economy. The Buhari-led government can show a lot of strength on this issue by showing direction, by demonstrating commitment to ridding every sector of the economy of this malaise.
"I can tell you that a lot will change in Nigeria if this issue is tackled decisively,” Dangote said.
The businessman called on Buhari’s administration to revisit the ongoing privatisation programme in the energy sector with a view to growing the energy capacity of the country.
According to him, if there is increased electricity output, there would be industrial growth and even the small and medium scale businesses which are dying because of insufficient energy supply, would begin to experience boom again.
Dangote is a Nigerian billionaire businessmanwho owns the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities. The company operates in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo and Zambia.
Dangote is rated by Forbes Magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa, with a net worth of $14.7Billion.
His major businesses span cement production, sugar production as well as several other business concerns.
He recently got into the oil and gas sector with a plan to build a refinery with the capacity to process 650,000 barrels per day, thus making it the single largest stream in the world.Describing the present situation where Nigeria produces crude but goes abroad to buy refined products as unacceptable, Dangote had explained that his refinery was ready to reverse the trend just as it has successfully done in other sectors like sugar and cement.