The Dangote Group says Nigeria will soon become a major exporter of rice rather than its current status of being an importer of the staple food.
According to the group, its 150,000 hectares rice farmlands in Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara States, as well as 10 rice mills it was establishing in different parts of the country, would deliver one million tons of rice annually.
The Dangote Group’s Executive Director, Kunt Ulvmoen, said this when he spoke to captains of commerce and industry during the Dangote’s Special Day, at the ongoing 33rd Lagos International Trade Fair.
Ulvmoen, said the group had been known to be the number one in rice business in Nigeria until it took the decision to terminate any commodity trading that would not achieve value addition on locally.
“So what do we do? We are entering into rice farming and processing and targeting a million tons output annually.
“We are already active in the farms. We have already got some paddy rice in some silos. We are also challenging others to do what we are setting out to do in order to make rice an exportable product in Nigeria,” Ulvmoen added.
“What is very important in Nigeria is gas. There is so much gas in the oil field that is still burnt. But this gas is very important for the production of energy in the country. And we want to make sure that there is gas in the pipeline. Nigeria needs to utilize all natural resources especially oil and gas.
“We have our sugar refinery in Apapa with capacity for 1.4 million tons annually. But we also want to reduce the importation of raw sugar. So, we are improving our plantation for sugar cane. We want Nigeria to be as independent as possible from sugar import,” he said.
“We are creating jobs. If you want to reduce kidnapping or extremism you have to create jobs. Nobody wants to do that if he can avoid it,” he added.
He explained further that Dangote has 29 million tons installed capacity for cement production.