Intra-African trade: Abolish difficult visa procedures, Dangote urges African leaders
For the African continent to attract the required investment into key sectors and achieve economic integration, the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has urged leaders to review their visa procedures and tariff regimes.
The review, according to him, will remove unnecessary barriers to intra-African trade and guarantee real growth and foreign direct investment to the respective countries.
Discussing with some international business leaders and Nigerian business owners from the Lagos Business School at his multi-billion-dollar refinery site in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos recently, Dangote said African leaders must make a conscious effort to break down the barriers and borders between countries so as to allow free flow of goods, services and people.
Describing the refinery as the largest single-train petrochemical facility in the world, Dangote stated that it was designed to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily, adding that the facility was designed for Nigerian crude oil, with flexibility to process products from other countries.
Dangote stated that he was building Africa’s largest urea plant to produce three million tonnes of fertilizer yearly.
“Everything we are doing here is basically to transform the Nigerian economy. And it is not only to transform, but to also diversify our economy from a single commodity market. We are taking a bold step through this petrochemical project to create values that will help us to achieve this aim,” he said.
Noting that his business had grown from a commodity trading to a diversified global conglomerate in the last two decades, Dangote said he was pumping huge resources into energy production and agriculture across West Africa to close the deficit in food production and export.
Revealing his greatest challenge so far despite his huge investment across Africa, he said, the high scourge of unemployed youths was a source of concern to him.
Dangote also harped on diversification as the major solution to the unemployment challenge the nation was facing, adding that successive governments had always paid lip service to job creation and diversification.Punch