NIGERIA’s president, Muhammadu Buhari and his Tanzanian counterpart, Dr. Jakaya, Mrisho Kikwete have described business mogul, Aliko Dangote, as Africa’s economic stimulant whose investments have improved economic stability and standard of living in the African continent.
The two leaders were speaking on the occasion of the commissioning of Dangote Cement’s multi-million dollar new cement plant in Mtwara, Tanzania and ground-breaking of the 26 hectare -jetty which attracted top shots not only from Nigeria and Tanzania but also from the East Africa neighbouring countries of Ruwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tanzanian president, , Kikwete, said there was no better way of rejuvenating and sustaining a nation’s economy if not through investment which opens the door for job creation and opportunity for people to express their creative abilities.
He described the 3m mtpa cement plant as the largest cement plant in the Eastern and Central Africa, noting that the investment is a huge one that would have a huge impact as well as bilateral relation between Tanzania and Nigeria.
“It will go a long way in transforming our happily existing diplomatic and political relations into investment and trade arena”, he noted.
Dr. Kikwete pointed that the timing of the citing of the cement plant was very auspicious, coming at a time when the demand for cement is on the uprsurge and increasing both locally and regionally.
Said he: “It is logical that there is a sound relationship between economic growth and booming of the construction sector whereby cement is a critical input. Tanzania is one of the countries where such relationship can easily be traced.”
To drive home his point that that Tanzania is a good destination for investment, Kikwete said Tanzania is has registered an average growth of 7 per cent which makes her one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in Africa and that as part of this growth, the construction sector has grown 7 per cent of the GDP in 2005/2006 to 12.5 per cent of the GDP in 2014/2015.
The President disclosed that cement prize has been on the increase especially as move further away from the cities because of the shortages in supply as opposed to increasing demands and that Dangote Cement is coming to fill the gap.
On his own part, President Mohammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said Dangote is a key role player in the economic development of Africa and this his investment model is in tandem with the unfolding economic policy of his government.
He said Dangote by his investment is teaching Africa nations on the need to adopt an economic integration policy which will encourage Africans to invest in their continent rather than waiting endlessly for the elusive foreigners to come and help invest and develop Africa.
Buhari thanked the government and people of Tanzania for providing the enabling environment that makes business to thrive even to non-indigenes.
Also speaking, the Tanzanian minister who represented the Prime Minister, Samuel Sitta said investment remains a critical input in developing economy, saying it was for this reason that the government has been working closely with Tanzanian Investment Centre (TIC).
stinations in Africa.
This he stated was attested to by the substantial amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) that flows into the country, annually.
According to him; the economic reforms in Tanzania especially in tax, public sector, financial sector, innovations in rural finance, telecommunications and infrastructure as well as revamped legislative frameworks, have produced an enabling environment that has further provided a platform for future growth. All these factors made us consider investing in the country.”
“We hope to see more foreign investors take advantage of these opportunities and invest in other sectors that will have multiplier effects on the Tanzanian economy.”
The latest commissioned cement plant is part of the ongoing African expansion drive of the Pan-African conglomerate.
Earlier the company has opened its plants in Cameroon, Zambia and Ethiopia. The commissioning of the Senegal and South Africa plants would follow suit according to the company’s president.