The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote says the company would invest $4.6bn in rice, sugar and dairy production in Nigeria.
He disclosed this when he laid the foundation for the construction of a multibillion naira rice processing plant in Hadin, Jigawa State.
He explained that this would reduce imports and conserve foreign exchange.
He said that the rice plant was part of the Dangote’s Rice Outgrower Scheme, adding that the mill could process 16 metric tonnes of paddy rice per hour when completed and paddy rice worth N14billion annually.
He explained that a $1billion agreement had been signed with the Federal Government for integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa states.
Dangote noted that the mill in Jigawa was the first of five other mills coming up in Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger states in the first phase, while in the second phase, other mills will be built in Nasarawa and Kogi states among others.
“When these planned six mills come fully on stream, we will achieve a capacity of 700,000 metric tonnes per annum of par boiled rice, which will make Dangote Rice the largest rice producer in Africa and register a bold step in making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production,” he said.
He noted that within the next 12 months, 20,000 outgrowers engaged by the company would have produced an average of 180,000 tonnes of paddy rice on about 30,000 hectares of land.
“We are focused on engaging about 300,000 farmers in the next 12 months when our rice mills are all functional,” he said.
He pledged continued investments in agriculture, adding that over the next three years.
On his part, Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru expressed delight at the stage of the Dangote Rice project in the state, saying it was in line with the vision of the Invest Jigawa, an organ set up to accelerate investments in the state.