CNBC Africa‘s Wole Famurewa speaks exclusively to Africa’s richest man and President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote about the economic slowdown in Africa, Nigeria’s economic recession, and his latest investments.
Dangote said that selling of government assets could be the best way to get Nigeria’s economy out of the recession.
“I think the real challenge for us is now for us to have the political will in terms of selling some assets. I think it’s an easier route than the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or the World Bank to borrow money, because what you need to do is actually to beef up the reserves.
If I had challenges in my company, I would not hesitate to sell assets, to remain afloat, to get to the better times, because it doesn’t make any sense for me to keep any assets and then suffocate the whole organisation.
What we need to do now in my own thinking… we have a lot of assets to sell. We can sell part of the joint venture; part of the shares. You know government normally owns 60 percent.
We can sell in an open tender be it Chinese. We can change the term and make it an operating one, just like what we have in NLNG. We also have another asset I think we don’t really need.
The African Finance Corporation; it can fetch them $800million easily. My own suggestion before was that they should even sell 100 percent of NLNG. I don’t think government should be in any business of investing in sectors of LNG.
A company like that, with earnings of $1.5 billion on the average, they should get anywhere between $12 billion and $15 billion,” he said.
The Industrialist added that if the Federal Government follows his suggestion, the country will be out of recession by the fourth quarter.
“You will not believe that the crisis that we have today, if we have $15 billion, adding it to our $25 billion, that is $40 billion reserves. That will give confidence, confidence will come back, then government will back it up with proper economic policy, where people can see the road-map.
Latest by fourth quarter we will be out of recession. It should be a partnership between government and private sector. We have all the answers, Nigeria falling into recession does not really scare me, if we take action,” he said.