‘How Nigeria can turn economic difficulties to opportunities’
The President of Dangote group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has advised business owners and start-ups to deploy technological innovations in addressing the economic challenges bedeviling the country.
He noted that Nigerians might be overwhelmed by many challenges faced by blue chips companies and business people across the country.
Some of the challenges according to him, include the lack of growth in the major economies of the world, the declining commodity prices in general and also in oil in particular, the weakness in Nigeria’s economy and the weaknesses faced by the banking sector amongst others.
His words: “Through my business life, I have learnt that problems and difficulties are also great opportunities. People can make quite a lot from difficulties. And I think our difficulties today in Nigeria should be turned into opportunities.
“For Nigeria to achieve this, you need the skills and the foresight for support and the courage to attack when others are retreating.
“We have major projects that we are doing but we are not retreating. We have the biggest fertilizer in the whole of Africa worth over three million metric tons, which we are building; we have the largest single line of refinery in the world which is 650,000 barrels with 1.3 million tonnes of polyether; we also have gas pipeline which we are building, it is 530 kilometres, both bridging from Bonny down to Lagos. This just to open the entire economy not only in Nigeria, but to West Africa.
“We would continue to invest during this current downturn with expectation that our investment would play an handsome role whereas it always does as the cycle turns”, he added.
Speaking at official launch of a financial mortgage bank, ‘SunTrust’ in Lagos, Dangote said, it is a bulgiest move to have a bank at a time the nation is facing critical challenges.
Dangote who expressed excitement and said the financial institution is a high-tech bank that has taken bold steps to carry out such innovation.
He said: “I will like to see people doing bold moves because that is what I have been doing and that is how I improved my business—taking very bold moves and calculated risk”.
According to him, the banking sector only serves about 15 per cent of the country’s current population stating that the bank would need to upscale its game to create a niche in the market.
Besides, SunTrust bank is the first bank in 15 years that the Central Bank of Nigeria gave commercial licence to do business in the country.
In his remarks, Oba of Lagos, Oba Akinlolu Rilwan said, to set up a bank at a time like this, is a big risk.
Managing Director, SunTrust Bank, Muhammad Jibrin said the courage to fulfil any dream usually comes from passion.
As such, he said the board; management and staff of the bank were passionate about making a difference in the banking sector.
He stated that the bank is the first commercial banking licence in 15 years. We thank the CBN for counting us worthy of this licence; it is a privilege and not a right.”
Jibrin, who expressed gratitude to Dangote, and other eminent Nigerians at the event, said the bank was determined to make a huge difference in the financial services sector.