He stated his view at the The Economist Forum in Lagos, yesterday, while answering questions on the potentials of the Nigeria economy in the face of the current economic challenge. He said that many businesses continue to thrive, despite the foreign exchange crisis.
He said: “I think people are underrating the economy of Nigeria. They just go and look at foreign exchange because oil has gone down and believe that everything has gone out of the window. That is not correct.” He said that the Dangote Cement, as at January and February, 2016 recorded 47% growth.
The company, he said, estimated that in the next 3 months, it will witness 60% growth. ”We have seen growth in our sugar business of about 20%. If your business model is to import 100% of your component and just be an assembly plant, then definitely you will face challenges because the influx of foreign exchange is not like what it used to be a year and half ago when we used to receive about $3.2bn on a monthly basis and our outflow was around $2bn.
Today, we are receiving just about $1bn. In our cement sector, we had that vision and we said let us properly industrialise. By this, we mean that our raw materials are almost 90% locally sourced. So we only need foreign exchange to buy spare parts, pay some of our expatriate staff salaries in dollars and get a little bit of gipson which is not readily available here.”
He said that the only option left for businesses in Nigeria was to export. “We now have capacity to export cement worth about $500m on an annual basis. With that, it means that we are self-sufficient. If you look at most of our projects, they are all very transformational projects because we saw this coming.
In the last 10 years, we said we want to do things in a manner that by 2018, we don’t have to go to the CBN to ask for foreign exchange. We want to be people who will sell forex to the market.” He argued that the current situation cannot be described as a crisis because while some businesses faced serious challenges, others did not…. We PDP supporters still insist dt Bubu has spoilt d economy tho….