The Minister of Agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aliko Dangote on rice production.
The Nigerian Government on Friday signed a $1 billion Rice Investment Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
The MoU was signed at the State House in Abuja.
The Minister of Agriculture, Adewunmi Adesina, and Mr. Dangote signed on behalf of the Federal Government and Dangote Group respectively.
President Jonathan said the Dangote Group’s investment is the single largest investment ever made in rice production in Africa. He thanked Mr. Dangote for investing in agriculture and assured him that his investment will be worthwhile.
President Jonathan said he looks forward to a time where Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production and a net-exporter of the grain. He said that the Federal Government will protect Nigeria’s borders and check smuggling.
“Government cannot allow its borders to be porous. We are working on non-human measures and smugglers should have a rethink now and change their ways by investing their resources in other meaningful areas,” he said.
Nigeria hopes to become a net-exporter of rice in four years. The Dangote Group’s investment in rice will cover five states and is expected to contribute additional 1.4 million metric tonnes of Paddy rice.
Mr. Dangote thanked the President for the consistency of government policies. He said the current $25 billion Dangote Cement Company was the result of the consistency of government policies.
“We will continue to work hard and will not disappoint you,” he told President Jonathan.