Forbes | 2 August 2014
Africa's Richest Man Aliko Dangote Invests $1 Billion In Rice Production In Nigeria
Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote has announced plans to invest $1 billion in commercial rice farming and modern integrated rice mills in Nigeria.
Dangote reportedly made the announcement on Friday during a visit to Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in Abuja, before heading to the Presidential Villa to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Government.
The billionaire told officials of the Ministry of Agriculture that his new investment was in support of the Nigerian Government’s plan to attain food sufficiency and become a net-exporter of rice within the next four years.
“With rice as a major staple, we have placed total sufficiency in rice production as a major priority for our country and key value chain for our economy,” Dangote said.
Dangote Group has acquired approximately 150,000 hectares of farmland in five Nigerian states- Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara and Niger, which will be used for the commercial production of rice paddy. The company will also set-up two rice mills with an installed capacity of 240,000 metric tons of rice per day.
“With this installed capacity, the project will become the largest integrated rice mill in Africa,” Dangote said.
Once Dangote’s rice plant starts production, it is expected that the price of locally produced rice will be significantly reduced. The new venture is expected to create at least 8,000 new jobs.
President Goodluck Jonathan commended Dangote for his latest investment in economy, stating that it was easily the single largest investment ever made in rice production in Africa. The Minister for Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina described Dangote’s new investment as “transformational for Nigeria and the rest of Africa”.
Dangote is the richest man in Africa with a fortune estimated at $25.1 billion, derived from holdings in cement, flour, sugar and agriculture.