Dangote Group making moves to enter the steel industry, would no longer depend on the CBN, it says

The Dangote Group has stated that it intends to invest significantly in the steel sector of the economy.

This was revealed by Olakunle Alake, Dangote Group's group managing director, during a roundtable discussion at the African Finance Corporation's (AFC) Infrastructure Solutions Summit in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Alake, the company is planning to expand its presence into the steel industry.

He also stated that the corporation will no longer need the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for currency exchange in a few years.

We do have something right now that we are trying to complete. I think this is the major project and that is our major focus right now. In another couple of years, we will not go to the Central Bank for foreign exchange for any of our activities, because at the end of the day, it’s a double situation, you import products which means you are creating jobs outside Nigeria and you struggle to get the forex,” Alake said.

“You drill for oil, you export oil, you don’t refine it. That way you are just killing employment.

“Our focus is two things. One, we make sure we look at things that can be produced locally, we create employment that way and we create value that way.

"Apart from the oil and gas project that we are doing, we are also one of the key stakeholders that has supported the government in terms of infrastructure tax credit scheme and we are using local banks to build that capacity across Nigeria.

“For us, steel is one of the key areas. You recall that years back the government decided that steel was major and set up Ajaokuta Steel and Delta Steel. We will want to resuscitate this sector in a big way.”

This came barely two weeks after the federal government reversed its original plan of completing the multi-billion dollar Ajaokuta Steel Company, as it announced it would now rather give it out to a private operator on concession.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Transcorp Group, Mr Tony Elumelu canvassed strongly for the decimation of the insecurity monster currently ravaging the Niger Delta, which has found expression in the unprecedented level of oil theft that has fractured the nation’s economy.

Elumelu said insecurity was a total disincentive for foreign investors needed to steer the nation’s ship from the tempest to calmer waters.

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