How Nigerian government thwarted Dangote’s multi-billion naira milk investment in Kaduna – El-Rufai

How Nigerian government thwarted Dangote’s multi-billion naira milk investment in Kaduna – El-Rufai

KADUNA State Governor Nasir el-Rufai has revealed how the Federal Government thwarted the effort of billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote to invest in dairy cattle in the state.

The governor stated this while speaking with Channels TV on the sixth edition of the state Economic and Investment Summit tagged ‘KADINVEST 6.0,’ on Thursday.

He said the Africa richest man planned to bring 30,000 cattle from South Africa and requested that the state give him one of its grazing reserves for conversion into a farm for the animals.

He said the government believed the investment would create ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs’ for people in the state and address major security and economic challenges facing it.

“All Aliko wanted was for import duty on powdered milk to be moved from 10 per cent to like 20 per cent to make it competitive with local production while costs are being reduced.

“We began a conversation with the (Federal) Ministry of Finance to do that. But all of a sudden, in the next budget cycle, import duty on powdered milk was reduced to five per cent, and he pulled out,” the governor stated.

Dangote had in 2018 reportedly expressed interest in investing in the nation’s milk industry.

The investment was expected to boost the country’s milk production.

Meanwhile, despite worsening insecurity in Kaduna State, El-Rufai boasted of a relatively conducive business environment in the state. 

He played down the impacts of insecurity in the state and claimed the media exaggerated the crisis.

However, he decried the state’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He said the state accounted for five per cent of the Nigerian population and should contribute at least the same percentage to the GDP. 

He said it instead contributed two and a half per cent of the nation’s GDP.

The ICIR had in 2019 reported how data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation showed that cattle milk production in Nigeria amounted to 585,000 tonnes per year.

The amount represented 40 per cent of the milk needs of the nation.

The nation required 1.3 billion tonnes of milk annually, of which it imported 60 per cent, the data explained.

Governor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele said at the time that Nigeria spent between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion annually to import milk. 

The US Department of Commerce notes that Nigeria’s dairy market is about $6.5 billion

 

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