Dangote Urges FG To Improve State Of Infrastructure | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dangote Urges FG To Improve State Of Infrastructure

Posted: Nov 1, 2016 at 1:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nkasiobi Oluikpe

 

Lagos – The indisputable role infrastructure plays in the life of a nation has once again been brought to the fore as Nigerian billionaire and former richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote has joined the legion of voice in the real estate sector to implore government to improve on the state of infrastructure in the country as one of the ways out of the current recession.

It would be recalled that professionals in the real estate sector have longed opined that government has no business building houses but to provide the basic infrastructures that will encourage players in the real estate sector to do their jobs.

Dangote who made the call during the Executive Course No. 38, 2016 at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Jos stated this while delivering a paper on Promotion of Local Manufacturing and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria: The Private Sector Experience and Policy Options.

The philanthropist decried that it is a curious paradox that Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and the largest economy on the continent, also has one of the highest levels of poverty where more than 100 million out of her 187 million, live below the poverty line.

According to the entrepreneur, the development has serious security implications, as evidenced by the high rate of social ills plaguing the nation. ““The spate of kidnappings, intermittent vandalism of petroleum pipelines in the Niger Delta, and the protracted insurgency in the North East, are all fuelled, to a large extent, by the high level of endemic poverty in the country.”

“Coupled with this, the activities of insurgents in the North East, have also affected the level of poverty in that part of the country. It is estimated that there are over 2.4 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in the region. It will take billions of Naira to rebuild the North East and fully re-settle victims of the insurgency. For a Government that is severely constrained in terms of funds, this, no doubt, is a daunting challenge.”

One of the ways according to him is for the Government to create an enabling environment that will encourage both local and foreign investors to set up businesses by granting tax holidays, improving the state of infrastructure in the country, and providing more access to credit facilities.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should also step up its interventions in the area of improving funding for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). All these will create jobs and raise the standard of living of the people.

The president of the Dangote Group argued that Nigeria’s large population offers incentives for manufacturers and services providers as Nigeria has abundant natural resources.

All these, he said, make Nigeria a country that offers one of the highest returns on investment in the world, which is attractive to investors. The high volume Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that has been flowing into Nigeria in recent years, attests to the fact.

Substantiating his points, he noted that South African companies such as MTN Nigeria, Shoprite and Multichoice, have taken advantage of the huge population of the country to do business with us and presently reaping the dividends.

He insisted that unemployment arose basically because job opportunities were not being created fast enough to match the ever-increasing work force, adding that the many years of de-industrialisation in the country was responsible for this.