Zambian President, Edgar Lungu has lauded the business ingenuity of the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote saying his business expansion across Africa is worthy of emulation by African businessmen in the task of continental development.
He said he was particularly delighted for Dangote’s choice of Zambia for his new $400 million cement plant investment saying it was in tandem with his administration’s economic plan for the country.
Lungu speaking at the commissioning of Dangote Cement Plant, Zambia said that the new cement plant will create more than 7,000 employment opportunities for Zambians.
He said, “This investment is expected to create at least 1,000 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs for Zambians when fully operational. Besides employment creation, the project is already greatly benefiting the local people of Masaiti and the surrounding districts through the transfer of skills, technology and business linkages.”
“I am very confident that Dangote Cement Plant management will flow with the intention of my Government to ensure our people feel part and parcel of this momentous development on the Copperbelt. As government, we are aware that for years now our people have been subjected to high monopolistic pricing structure for cement. Today, I am the happiest person to note that ever since Dangote Cement Plant came into the Zambian market, the price of cement has been gravitating towards normal,” he added.
The Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo speaking at the commissioning lauded Aliko Dangote on his investment in in several African countries saying the Federal Government is proud of Dangote.
Osinbajo said, “The spotlight today falls very deservedly on an exceptional African entrepreneur, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.’’
“It is to his phenomenal vision, entrepreneurship and commitment to the development of Africa and Africans that we are here today to inaugurate this cement plant.
“Dangote is a Nigerian from Kano State and he is a pan-Nigerian and pan-African who has done us all proud and his companies spread over 16 African countries, are a signal of an African multinational enterprise.
He identified human capital development, political stability and economic integration as central to the rapid development of Africa and the emancipation of its people from poverty.
The vice president said that the continent needed to free itself from issues that impoverished the people and begin to use its resources to develop the continent. “One of the key challenges to rapid growth in Africa is extreme poverty; Africa unfortunately remains the poorest continent in the world; the implications are illiteracy, poor health, and low income per capita. “Consequently, despite our large population our markets are not deep; most cannot afford goods and services; this is a cross-cutting Africa problem but the only solution is substantially investing in human capacity development. “We simply must spend money on the people; we must spend more on education, technology and healthcare; we must invest in technology, infrastructure to enable our bright boys and girls to hone their skills in the competitive world of technology.
Governor Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole speaking at the commissioning said he is very excited with the building of Dangote Cement plants across several African nations. He described Aliko Dangote as Africa’s most potent investor who has rebranded Nigeria through cement plants located in many African nations. According to him, Dangote Cement billboards are located across many African streets in countries where the company has plants which he said presents Nigeria as a source of investment in other nations.