Africa’s richest man and President, Dangote Industries, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday, dismissed fears about the impact of the fall in crude oil prices on the Nigerian economy, saying the decline would not translate to doom for the economy.
Dangote said despite the fall in oil price, a lot of sectors were doing well in Nigeria, adding that the problem was that people were under estimating the resilience of the Nigerian economy
According to him, while the fall in oil prices portends dangers to some businesses, it, however, presents a good opportunity to diversify the Nigerian economy. He said “If we don’t diversify the economy now, then we would never do it.” He said Nigerian companies should learn to export, advising that they should leverage on the 320 million population of the West African sub region to grow their businesses through export. People are under estimating the economy
He said: “I think people are under estimating the economy of Nigeria. They just go and look at foreign exchange, because price of oil has gone down, it means that everything has gone out of the window. That is not correct, in some areas, yes, depending on your business.” Citing the example of growth recorded by Dangote in cement and sugar sales, he said: “If you look at it, right from October to November, our sales of cement have actually been going down, even though at a cost because we took the price down by 35 per cent, but this has given us over 50 per cent market growth up to January, February.
Sometimes, crisis is also an opportunity, so you use it very well so that the crisis should not happen to you. “You just had to have faith, and keep pushing to make sure you are where you are and that is what we are doing. That is why we are not stopping in all our projects, we know the market, and we know the dynamics of the markets.”
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