FG, Dangote sign $1b MoU on rice project
The Federal Government and Dangote Industries Limited on Friday announced a $1 billion (N165bn) investment for commercial rice project and farming to be operated by the firm in Nigeria.
The firm has acquired 150,000 hectares of farmlands in Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, and Niger States to be used for commercial production of paddy rice.
The President, Dangote Group, Alhaji. Aliko Dangote, disclosed his firm’s investment plan at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
He told ministry officials and journalists that the move to invest in rice production was aimed at developing Nigeria’s economy through agriculture.
Dangote said: “What we are trying to do is actually to join hands with the ministry. Apart from making Nigeria self – sufficient in rice, it is also to make sure that Nigeria exports rice because we have no reason not to export rice. I think it will be very shameful for the biggest economy in Africa not to be self – sufficient in what we consume.”
He said the investment would further boosts the federal government’s drive to attain food sufficiency in Nigeria, adding that in the next four years Nigeria will become an exporter of rice.
Dangote said once his rice industry starts producing the staple food, the price of the locally produced rice will be definitely cheaper than the imported ones, adding that this will create room for a lot of investments in the sector.
“With rice as a major staple, we have placed total sufficiency in rice production as a major priority for our country and key value chain for our economy.
“Today’s signing ceremony marks a revolutionary tipping point by the Dangote Group to make Nigeria a net exporter of rice within the next few years as well as boosting inclusive wealth creation and employment generation,” he said
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