Nigeria and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has held talks with the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on how the duo can collaborate in making the state more attractive for existing and prospective investors.
Dangote who was on a courtesy visit to felicitate with the governor on his victory at the polls also leveraged on the visit to restate his commitment to partner with the government in developing the state.
In an interview after the meeting, Dangote also promised that he would scale-up efforts towards finishing ongoing projects currently being embarked upon by his company stressing that the Dangote Group would continue to support initiatives geared towards securing lives and properties.
“I’ve assured him (the governor) that we really love doing business here, it’s a friendly state for doing business and also to assure him of all the projects that we are doing that we are on course; that is building the largest ever single refinery of 650,000 barrels per day, which is by far more than the consumption of Nigeria and that would satisfy our consumption at least for the next seven to ten years by the time we finish”.
“Also, we are building the largest fertilizer plant of two to three million tonnes of Uranium and Amonia also in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and assure him that we are going to do a Gas Pipeline from Bonny to under the sea, in which when we finish, Lagos state will never ever experience blackout, there would be electricity 24 hours a day”.
“There are quite a lot of things that would come along with, that would create so many jobs. I think Lagos will be one of the fastest growing cities in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I can assure you that we would do our own bit in terms of your efforts in policing Lagos, for security and whatever the need is, feel free to call us, we would partner with you and whatever you want us to do to make Lagos a better place”.
The business mogul also hinted that the projects would create thousands of jobs in the state as Nigerians from different divides would be attracted.
“It’s not a small project. We would have challenge in getting people to work there, because at the height of it, we would have almost close to 38,000 people working at the same location, this is something that we have to partner with the state government. Having 38,000 people on one site, not every one of them will be from the community, others will be from other states, there would be cultural issues and all that, we need to integrate everybody to ensure that the whole thing works out fine,” Dangote added.
Meanwhile, Governor Ambode assured his visitor on the commitment of the present administration to give investors a comfortable business profile in the State.
The Governor added that the administration was ready to support the Dangote Group where necessary for the smooth running of its operations.
“I will just call on other investors that wherever it is that we can assist we are willing and ready to make sure that investors have comfortable life and comfortable business profile in Lagos State”, according to Governor Ambode.
The Governor, who described the visit as very significant, promised that his administration would open up the State for greater business to attract foreign investors through the newly created “Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment.”
“This visit is highly significant. We said it that we are going to open up Lagos State for greater business and we also said we are interested in bringing in foreign investors and also create an Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment.”
“This visit is symbolic in the sense that the bottom line is creating jobs for our youths and he has shown full commitment as a great Nigerian that he is interested in investing in any part of this country. But most significantly in Lagos state and we are ready to
support him and support all his businesses because he is adding value,” he noted.
Governor Ambode also thanked the Dangote Group President for donating N400 million through the Dangote Foundation to 2,000 women in each of the 20 Local Governments in the State to assist in improving their businesses.