Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
The President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has revealed that the focal point of the company is to replicate the revolution it brought about in cement production into agriculture particularly rice and sugar.
This is coming just as the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, expressed optimism that the state has the potential to produce the local requirement for rice and sugar as well as for exports.
Dangote, who stated this in Jalingo yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the governor, said his company is keen about revolutionising rice and sugar processing in the country the same way it achieved 45 million tonnes of cement within 10 years and hoping to hit 80 million tonnes in the next two years.
Maintaining that he was in the state to show his company’s seriousness in terms of agriculture, he equally added that he came to Taraba to ensure the Lau Sugar project becomes a reality.
“Our coming to Taraba is to show our seriousness as a company in terms of agriculture and to ensure that the Lau sugar project becomes a reality. We intend to do what we did in cement when we started from zero to 45 million tonnes within ten years and to 80 million in the next two years. That is the trajectory we are looking”
He revealed that his company would take delivery of 10 rice processing machines each of which has the capacity to process 16 tonnes of rice per hour thereby totalling one million tonnes.
Dangote, who presented the sum of N50 m to the governor as donation to the victims of the Mambilla crisis, further stated that his commitment is to create jobs saying he’s looking forward to creating hundreds of thousands of jobs through agriculture stressing that agriculture holds the key to job creation.
“Agriculture is key to job creation. In cement, a billion dollars investment cannot create more than 15,000 jobs but such investment in agriculture would create hundreds of thousands of job.”
He, however, assured the people of the state that he’s not investing in the state to just enrich his pocket but also to empower the people of the community through its corporate social responsibility as well as create wealth among the people of the state.
In his response, Ishaku eulogised Dangote for always living by every word he speaks and assured him that he is determined to do everything possible to ensure the success of his project in the state just as he promised to personally supervise the project.
To express his administration’s commitment to ensuring the success of the project, he presented the site plan of the project to Dangote, just as he promised that he would provide the necessary infrastructure to fast track the project including the completion of Kona-Lau road which he promised to complete before the middle of next year.
He equally noted that he is determined to turn the state around from a civil service state to an industrial hub, saying the state would soon commence the export of tea and coffee, including Beniseed and soya beans.