According to Aliko Dangote, Nigeria and Africa’s richest man, Nigeria would need a minimum of USD15 billion via asset sales and borrowing to stimulate its economy and get out of recession.
Dangote made the remarks at the U.S-Africa Business Forum. A gathering of all African CEOs and head of states aimed at connecting Africa with American corporations and investors for trade and investment networking.
Nigeria has already put into motion plans to sell about USD1 billion Eurobonds. Local banks made their pitches on the 19th of September to facilitate the process.
Buttressing his position, Dangote to”Through sales of assets, through loans from Bank of China or wherever, we need something like $15 billion. We’re having a problem as the reserves are low. The banks, entrepreneurs, everybody is speculating on the currency.”
Dangote is one of the key speakers at the forum. He also commented on Nigeria’s fight against corruption “President Buhari is doing a great job in terms of fighting corruption. Corruption has gone down dramatically.”
While his position that critical assets should be sold is supported by many quarters in Nigeria’s business and political scene, many people experts and social groups have also countered the suggestion as inappropriate and suspicious. Those against asset sales termed its ‘asset-striping’. They cited similar sales of government assets that ended up becoming moribund.
Dangote is Nigeria’s richest man and his suggestion has been greeted with suspicion from those who opposed the asset sale proposition. Some of the assets earmarked for sale includes four refineries, some planes in the presidential fleets and the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).
In the next one year, Dangote is expected to commission the first phase of the Dangote Refinery in Lagos. The mega refineries is financed by USD20 billion from debt and equity investment.