By: Sunday Oyewole
The Federal Government has urged investors to take advantage of various investment incentives offered by President Goodluck Jonathan Administration and invest in the Nigerian economy.
Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo gave the advice today in Abuja at the occasion of the signing of $3.3 billion medium term loan agreement for Dangote Refinery/Petrochemical and Fertilizer Complex, to be located at Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas (OKLNG) Free Trade Zone in Ondo State.
Sambo said “it is heart-warming to witness this landmark ceremony of the signing of USD 3.3 billion Term Agreement with financial partners of Dangote Group as it relates to the building of a refinery, petrochemical and fertilizer”, adding that the event was also “significant considering the various inroads the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has made in creating enabling environment for private investments”.
While commending the Dangote Group for a carefully thought-out project that will go a long way in creating employment both directly and indirectly, he said it will reduce products cost, increase industrialization and improve the general well-being of the people.
Sambo reiterated the resoluteness of the Federal Government to continue to offer necessary support and encouragement for the private sector to thrive, noting that the Transformation Agenda and the country’s Vision 20:2020, cannot be fully actualised without the active participation of the private sector.
He also said the “National Sugar Production Master Plan and roadmap will offer protection to investors in the sector and very soon make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production” as it has prospects of expanding sugarcane and other related sugar production initiatives, be a source of ethanol production, generate power and create thousands of jobs for Nigerians.
Earlier, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the event was a milestone in the efforts of government at transforming the nation’s economy, noting that the refinery and petrochemical complex would be the largest in the history of the country.
He said in addition to the $3.3 billion medium term loan being signed today, there is another $2.25 billion being sourced from DFIs, ECAs and $3.5 billion from the Group, which makes a total of $9.05 billion. Dangote thanked the Federal Government for its friendly economic policies and encouragement for private sector to thrive and Central Bank for facilitating the transaction.
In her remark, the Minister of Petroleum, Dizeani Alison-Madueke, said the event was very exciting given that the Nigerian banks have come together to facilitate the venture as Dangote is the first to take refinery to the private sector. She encouraged other investors to take a cue from Dangote and move into the petroleum and gas sectors within the next 2015 and 2017.
In the same vein, the Governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, commended the Dangote Group and Nigerian banks for coming together to pull recourses for the project. He debunked the notion that Nigerian banks are not lending to the real sector, saying banks would lend to the real sector if there is bankable projects but would not assist in the importation of goods.