President Goodluck Jonathan pledged Wednesday in Abuja that his administration will keep on implementing policies and measures that will continuously improve the operating environment for entrepreneurs and investors in the Nigerian economy.
Speaking at an audience with the President of the Dangote Group and leading Nigerian investors and bankers, President Jonathan said that his administration was fully committed to progressively removing all major impediments to greater investment in Nigeria such as inadequate infrastructure and unsteady power supply.
The President applauded plans by the Dangote Group to build Africa’s largest refinery, petro-chemicals and fertilizer manufacturing complex in Nigeria and thanked the consortium of banks who are providing a $3.3 billion credit facility for the project.
President Jonathan also expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation of the great support being given by Nigeria’s private sector to the implementation of his administration’s agenda for national transformation.
Noting that the Dangote Group’s massive investment in refining, petrochemicals and fertilizer production will contribute significantly to the attainment of government’s priority objective of job creation, the President thanked him and the Chief Executives of the Nigerian banks that are helping to finance the project for being patriotic and having the confidence to invest in their own country.
“We are pleased that you are now investing in refining, petro-chemicals and fertilizer production. It is the downstream sector of oil and gas that can really create many jobs. Your interest and investment in that area will help in the area of job creation which we have been emphasizing. You are also helping us to move away from being a mere producer of raw materials by adding value to our natural resources,” he told Alhaji Dangote and members of his delegation.
Alhaji Dangote who led the team from his company, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria’s leading banks had earlier told the President that they were at the Presidential Villa to thank him for his administration’s policies which have greatly encouraged further investments in Nigeria.
“Your policies have helped us greatly. Without them, we will not be where we are today,” the President of the Dangote Group told President Jonathan.
He said that the refining, petro-chemicals and fertilizer complex planned by his Group will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products including diesel and aviation fuel, as well as poly-propylene and fertilizer.
Alhaji Dangote who came on the visit to the President after the signing of the loan agreements for the complex was accompanied by Chief Executives of participating banks including First Bank of Nigeria, UBA, Stanbic-IBTC, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Rand Merchant Bank.
Alhaji Dangote hailed the signing of the financial support agreement as a milestone in the industrialization of Nigeria. “It shows that there’s great confidence in the Nigerian economy and quite a lot of appetite for investment in our country,” he said.
Others on his delegation included Chief Kola Jamodu, Mr. Femi Otedola, Mr. Jim Ovia and management executives of the Dangote Group.