Dangote Tasks Customs To Halt Illegal Imports

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Aliko Dangote

By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan

The founder and President/Chief Executive of the Dangote Group,
Alhaji Aliko Dangote on Wednesday said there was the need for the Nigerian Customs and border services to effectively check illegal imports and under declaration of duties and levies.

Alhaji Dangote made the call while delivering the 3rd Eminent Persons Business Lecture of the University of Ibadan, School of Business (UISB) entitled “Industrialization – Backward Integration as a strategy for National Development: The Story of the Dangote Group”, held at the Trenchard Hall.

He pointed out that this became necessary to address the backward integration policy of the Nigerian economy to achieve more successes and  that state governments in the country on their part  need to be more efficient at facilitating land acquisition for large-scale developments.

Represented by the Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Engineer Ahmed Mansur, Alhaji Dangote maintained that policy focus and choice of the sector are also critical to the success of backward integration and import substitution/ local content policies.

“Backwards Integration implies a business exerting control over sources of raw materials or other business that are part of its overall manufacturing process. For example, a cement trader becomes backwards integrated when he takes ownership or control of bagging, cement grinding, limestone mining, etc.” he said

The Founder and President/Chief Executive of the Dangote Group,
added that   “backward Integration leads to job creation; both direct and indirect, and skilled and unskilled. It has contributed to the diversification of the economy by stimulating the growth of the non-oil sector, reduced the demand for foreign exchange, and created new sources of foreign exchange from exports.”

According to Alhaji Dangote, in an increasingly globalised world, one cannot ignore the increasing impacts of international trade dynamics on domestic markets and livelihoods and as such, if Nigerian businesses are to stand a chance, it will need to evolve to be competitive and not just survive.

“Backward integration in agriculture also improves food security through assured availability and quality (rice and sugar scarcity will be significantly eliminated), while securing steady incomes for farmers and increasing technology transfer, innovation, and productivity. In cement, the growth in local capacity from 3 million metric tons in 2002 to ~44 million metric tons translates to a CAPEX of about US$ 8 billion (a massive boost for the non-oil sector of the economy). This has also displaced FX-demand for cement imports which would by now have grown to US$1.5 to 2.0 billion annually.”

Speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan,  Professor Idowu Olayinka said  the UISB has recorded many important accomplishments since inception, and that “most importantly, the UI brand has rubbed off positively on the school making it very attractive to quality students, lecturers, industry players, corporate Nigerian as well as international and local partners.”

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