Lagos - Dangote Group, the Nigerian company controlled by the richest African person, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest about $16 billion (R166bn) in cement, petrochemicals and agriculture over the next four years to boost expansion.
“We are investing $4.7bn to finish our projects in cement in about 18 countries, including Nigeria,” Dangote, the group president, said yesterday. “We are also spending about $2.3bn on agriculture, which is sugar and rice.”
The investment would help the Lagos-based company grow by almost a third next year, said Dangote, who is worth $22.1bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him the world’s 34th richest person. “We are very, very optimistic for 2014 – we are expecting average growth of 30 percent group-wide.”
Dangote Cement, Africa’s biggest producer of the building material, said in April that it planned to double annual total cement output to 55 million tons by 2015, boosted by new production in Cameroon, Zambia and South Africa.
Dangote Sugar, which plans to start exports to Liberia, Senegal and Mauritania next year, aimed to almost double refining capacity to 2.75 million tons by 2017 and increase sugar crop production, chief executive Abdullahi Sule said in August.
“We are going to do a backward integration for rice” by growing the crop, as well as distributing it, Dangote said. “We think Nigeria can be self sufficient in rice in the next three to four years.”
Dangote plans to invest in a natural gas power plant to help provide electricity in Nigeria, where a supply of 4 000 megawatts of electricity is less than half of demand. Nigeria relies on fuel imports to meet more than 70 percent of its needs.
“The only new investment we are looking at is upstream – to look for gas to secure our future businesses. We want to step in and make gas available – this will translate into more stable power in the country.”
Dangote Industries had agreed on terms for a $3.3bn loan with 12 local and international banks to help fund construction of a $9bn petroleum oil refinery and petrochemical and fertiliser complex in Nigeria, deal co-ordinator Standard Chartered said in September. – Bloomberg