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Dangote Criticizes CBN High Interest Rates, Calls for Policy Reforms

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At a keynote address at the three-day Nigeria Manufacturers Summit in Abuja, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Industries Ltd., recently criticised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its thirty percent interest rates, voicing concern that such policies could impede business growth and job creation in Nigeria. Dangote also offered solutions to enhance investment attraction and retention in the nation.

Dangote highlighted the negative impact of high interest rates on manufacturing and industrial sectors, stating that they stifle economic growth and discourage job creation. He emphasized the need for the federal government to implement deliberate industrial policies that not only support but also protect investors to prevent them from leaving Nigeria.

The summit, which took place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja, was officially opened by Vice President Kashim Shettima. It focused on “Rethinking Manufacturing in Nigeria,” drawing attention to the critical need for policy reforms that support induDangote emphasized the detrimental effects of high interest rates on the industrial and manufacturing sectors, claiming that they hinder economic expansion and discourage the creation of jobs. In order to keep investors in Nigeria, he underlined the necessity for the federal government to implement thoughtful industrial policies that both assist and shield them from loss.strial growth and sustainability.

According to Dangote, effective policies are the best incentives for both local and foreign investors. He pointed out that foreign investors are particularly encouraged when they see that local businesses are thriving under government-supported policies. Dangote argued that seeking foreign investment should go beyond mere promotional efforts by government officials abroad; instead, it should involve concrete actions to secure and protect investments at home.

He further suggested that the government’s approach should ensure stable, affordable power supply and accessible financing for manufacturers and investors. These measures, he noted, are crucial for guaranteeing industrial growth, prosperity, and economic stability.

Dangote warned against the dangers of an import-dependent economy, describing it as a practice that leads to importing poverty and exporting jobs. He emphasized that supportive and protective government policies would encourage more investors to collaborate and partner with the government, addressing challenges like infrastructure deficits, market instability, and economic issues such as inflation and foreign exchange volatility.

Highlighting the current banking conditions, Dangote expressed concern over the stifling effects of the 30 percent interest rate on loans, asserting that such rates make it nearly impossible for businesses to create jobs and foster growth.

Despite these challenges, Dangote remains optimistic about Nigeria’s potential to develop a globally competitive manufacturing sector. He urged the nation to draw lessons from both Western and Eastern countries that protect their domestic industries. According to him, Nigeria should implement similar policies to nurture domestic industries into robust economic forces that can drive job creation and national prosperity.

Former Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment Olusegun Aganga echoed Dangote’s views by urging President Bola Tinubu to designate manufacturing as a national priority area. According to Aganga, this action would demonstrate the government’s resolve to resurrect the manufacturing sector, which is a fundamental component of economic growth and self-sufficiency.

Dangote reaffirmed in his closing remarks the importance of Nigeria’s manufacturing sector to the country’s economic growth and competitiveness in the international market. His call to action emphasizes how urgently policy changes that serve the interests of the nation’s present and future investors are needed.

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