By Clare Nwaiwu
Africa’s richest man and philanthropist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated a N300 million Complex to the University of Ibadan, School of Business, assuring that his Foundation would continue to prioritise education.
Dangote, also the Chief Executive Officer of the Dangote Group, who unveiled the gift while delivering the Eminent Persons Business Lecture and Inauguration of the Aliko Dangote Complex, said education would change the nation’s economy and drive growth and development.
The business mogul who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited Engr. Ahmed Mansur, urged the Federal Government to provide critical infrastructure that would make the nation’s environment conducive for businesses to thrive
He said this while presenting a paper titled “Industrialisation – Backward Integration as a strategy for National Development: The Story of the Dangote Group.”
According to him, Nigeria has the potential to be among the most industrialised countries in the world and required only the right policies to propel investors into taking the lead in its industrialisation efforts.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]Dangote listed some of the challenges militating against business growth as; inadequate power supply, lengthy and costly processes of gaining access to land, poor quality transportation infrastructure and high cost of capital.[/penci_blockquote]
He affirmed that the leaders and citizens must have the political will, courage and perseverance to succeed, for the nation to breakthrough industrially.
Dangote advocated for backward integration as one of the best policies of government that had helped the economy, and advised that the policy should be replicated in other sectors of the economy.
He said the policy would increase cost control, efficiency, improved coordination and delivery of raw materials along the production process.
“The impact of the policy was felt within the first decade of its implementation as Nigeria became self-sufficient in cement production.
“Installed cement production capacity has now grown from 3 million metric tons in 2002 to 44 million metric tons as at December 2017,” he said.
He said as at 2002, about 600 million dollars was spent annually as cement import bill, but the country had now successfully transitioned from being a net importer to self-sufficiency and net exporter.
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Dangote listed some of the challenges militating against business growth as; inadequate power supply, lengthy and costly processes of gaining access to land, poor quality transportation infrastructure and high cost of capital.
Others are; Inconsistency of policy implementation, lack of inter-sectoral policy coordination, inadequacy of knowledge and skills in the workforce and lack of foreign exchange.
He traced the challenges to the poor quality of the overall business environment, rather than local content policies.
Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan Prof. Abel Olayinka, who had earlier spoken described the complex as the first largest individual donor to the university and a legacy that would forever be cherished.
He disclosed that Dangote was to initially donate N250 million to the university, but was prevailed upon to build the complex rather than giving money, a decision, he said, paid off for the university.