Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has spoken up on the opportunities for wealth in Nigeria, asserting that there is money to be made in every part of the country.
This was as he rued the growing unemployment rate in Nigeria, which he said gives him sleepless nights, more than the success or failure of any of his businesses.
Speaking on the sideline of a meeting with business leaders/chief executive officers from Nigeria and Kenya held at the Dangote Lekki free-trade zone in Lagos, he stated that it is the collective responsibility of both the government and entrepreneurs to create jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths as a way of solving restiveness and agitations in the country.
While describing Nigeria as a scratched card that has not been touched but would be useless after loading it, the industrialist said, “Nigeria is like a recharge card. Anywhere you touch is money. You should also have visions and be focused”.
He also harped on diversification as the major solution to the unemployment challenges the country is facing, noting however that successive governments had always paid lip service to job creation and diversification.
According to him: “Since 1978, when I came to Lagos, government has been talking about diversification of the economy which has not happened up till now. It is also sad that nobody is challenging anybody about how many jobs he or she has created.
“In reality though, it is not solely government duty to provide jobs. It is also the duty of entrepreneurs, but government at all levels must provide the enabling environment. When there is no jobs, people get frustrated, and I can tell you that the Boko Haram insurgency is a product of frustration. The way to go is diversification. Nigeria should diversify its economy, and take crude oil as icing on the cake.”