Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday, told the 19 northern governors to wake up from slumber and rescue the region from high rate of poverty. Dangote noted that 60 per cent population of the region live in extreme poverty, and pointed out that it was unacceptable for a region with
Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday, told the 19 northern governors to wake up from slumber and rescue the region from high rate of poverty.
Dangote noted that 60 per cent population of the region live in extreme poverty, and pointed out that it was unacceptable for a region with vast arable land for agriculture to live in poverty.
The business mogul stated this when he
delivered a keynote address at the Fourth edition of Kaduna Economic and
The two-day event, organised by the Kaduna Investment and Promotion Agency, has as its theme: “Expanding investment frontier,” was held at the
popular Murtala Square in the state.
Said Dangote: “The North must focus on harnessing its massive agricultural potentials; in terms of production and processing. No region with such agricultural potential should be this poor. We have what it takes to turn around our fortunes and, I pray all the19 governors of the northern states would wake up and follow the footsteps of Kaduna State Government.
“Given the vast tracts of arable land and conducive condition, I think in the next 10 years, agriculture can generate more revenue and prosperity than oil that we have now; if we have the right commitment.”
He also admonished the regional government to identify its area of comparative advantage over other regions, adding that provision of information and data on what is available in various states, are equally necessary.
According to him, efforts should be made to encourage local investors because “they will attract foreign investors.
“In the north western and north eastern part of Nigeria, more than 60 per cent of the population live in extreme poverty. It is instructive to know that the 19 northern states which account for over 54 per cent of the country’s population, and 70 per cent of its land mass, collectively, generated only 21 percent of the total sub-national Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2017.
“Northern Nigeria will continue to fall behind if respective state governments do not move to close the development gap and that is why we are always saying the biggest challenge we have and what we are always praying for is to have 10 governors like Mallam Nasir El Rufai.”
“Closing this gap requires multi-layer investments and government will not be able to muster the needed funds.
“Only the private sector can raise the amount of capital required to fund the kind of investment required. Government must create a conducive environment that will trigger a huge inflow of private capital into the private sector of the economy. Private investment will create jobs and will go a long way to erase the challenge of unemployment and poverty.
“Kaduna state is a shining example of this. While several states are taking steps in this direction, only a few, like Kaduna, are making visible progress.
On his part, El-Rufai said Kaduna has attracted over $500 million investment in the last four years in spite of the challenges facing the state.
He said investments wouldn’t have been possible without the key role of the Judiciary.
“The judiciary has assisted us to remove all bottlenecks associated with doing business in the state when we came into government. The state judiciary repealed obnoxious laws which made investment in the state almost impossible. We are now number one in the ease-of-doing-business in the country.”