Dangote Wants Oil Prices To Remain Low

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said at the United Nations General Assembly in New York that he was praying for the global crude oil prices to remain low for a longer period to enable resource-rich countries turn to other sectors to grow their economies.

Mr. Dangote was speaking with investors who participated in the high level business leaders and international diplomats meeting organised by the Corporate Council for Africa at the headquarters of global law firm, Shearman and Sterling LLC.

Mr. Dangote and Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, who discussed on Africa’s opportunities and challenges, underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies.

For Nigeria, reputed to be Africa’s largest economy, Mr. Dangote said his prayer was for oil prices to continue to remain low.

"This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake - agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world," he said.

Besides Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas, he stressed the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption.

He joined President Kagame to emphasise the need for heavy investments in education, particularly for young people to be well-trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Although the Dangote Group president predicted that "five of the 12 million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria," he said this would only be realized if they were trained.

Mr. Dangote’s business fortune, which comes from cement, sugar, and other household commodities, has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods.

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