Nigeria’s billionaire, Alhaj Aliko Dangote has met with the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on the need to speed up the necessary approval for his investment in power, mining and cement industries in the southern African country.
Dangote who paid a courtesy call on President Mugabe reminded the President at his tate House yesterday that he was awaiting the relevant approvals to set up the group’s investments.
He said, “We have already decided on multimillion investments in Zimbabwe in three sectors which are power, cement and coal mining. As soon as we get permits, we will hit the ground running.”
The business mogul, who earlier Tuesday met with several government ministers, was confident that Zimbabwe would accelerate the licence and registration processes for the group to start operations in the ‘as soon as possible’.
Dangote is expected to start setting up the 1,5 million tonne per annum plant by the end of the first half of 2016.
Dangote Industries is also expected to invest in Zimbabwean power generation through Black Rhino Group, a $5 billion African infrastructure fund in which US private-equity group Blackstone Group LP is a co-investor.
The chunk of Dangote’s investments outside the shores of Nigeria has mostly been in the cement manufacturing sector. He recently commissioned a $420 million cement-manufacturing plant and a 30-megawatt coal-fired plant in Zambia early this month.
As he was in Zimbabwe same yesterday, Dangote Cement commissioned its $250 million 1,5 million metric tonnes per annum cement grinding plant in Douala, Cameroon, barely three weeks after the Zambia plant was commissioned.
According to Dangote, “The cement manufacturing unit has expanded capacity five-fold in the last four years while it plans to double potential output to 80 million tonnes by year end, with the Zimbabwean approvals in sight.”
“We want to set up an integrated cement plant here that will be bigger than all the plants that we have,” he said.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote who also met with Zimbabwean’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged government to open up the country and scrap rigid visa requirements.
“We look at setting up something that can translate into a million-and-a-half tonnes so that even when we continue to use cement, there won’t be a shortage
of cement here. We will make cement available, he assured”
The billionaire’s maiden Zimbabwean visit comes after Dangote Cement last week signed contracts with Chinese construction company Sinoma International Engineering to add 25 million metric tonnes across 11 countries. -Nigerianeye