President Goodluck Jonathan has commended the Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for investing $1bn) in rice production in the country.
The President made the commendation during the signing of the $1 billion-dollar Rice Investment Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the federal government and Dangote Group at the Presidential Villa.
The Minister of Agriculture, Adewunmi Adesina and Alhaji Dangote signed on behalf of the federal government and Dangote Group respectively.
According to Jonathan, the Dangote Group’s investment was the single largest investment ever made in rice production in Africa.
He thanked Dangote for investing in agriculture and assured him that his investment would be worthwhile.
The president added that he looked forward to a time Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice production and a net-exporter of the grain, adding that the federal government would 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.
"In less than four years, Nigeria hopes to become a net-exporter of rice. The Dangote Group’s investment in rice will cover five states and contribute additional 1.4 million metric tonnes of Paddy rice" he said.
Dangote however thanked the president for the consistency of government policies, noting that the current $25 billion-dollar Dangote Cement Company was the result of the consistency of government policies.
He assured Jonathan that “we will continue to work hard and will not disappoint you.”