This isn’t a season of excellent information on the financial terrain the world over. No due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the lamentation throughout poor and wealthy nations is that of extreme financial contractions, sharp decline in income and productiveness in numerous sectors, large-scale collapse of companies, large unemployment and underemployment, elevated indebtedness in addition to worsening poverty and inequality.
In opposition to this background, the heartwarming, optimistic information out of Nigeria was the graduation of the export of clinker, a key ingredient within the manufacturing of cement, by Dangote Cement, to neighbouring African nations.
The conglomerate’s maiden ship conveying 27, 800 metric tonnes of the commodity departed the nation’s shores for Senegal about two weeks in the past. In fact, the import of this important improvement for the nation, notably right now, can’t be misplaced.
Revenues from Nigeria’s financial mainstay, crude oil, have fallen catastrophically because of the collapse in international oil costs, even because the paralysis of different vital sectors of the economic system because of the pandemic has additionally negatively impacted different income sources.
But, the nation continues to require big quantity of sources to fulfill unanticipated emergency well being challenges, develop and keep vital infrastructure, present inexpensive social companies and reply to present extreme safety challenges.
It’s thus apparent that the substantial international alternate earnings, which can accrue to the nation from Dangote Cement’s export of clinker, will assist to bridge present income shortfalls and facilitate the method of submit COVID-19 financial restoration.
Even when that is admittedly solely a modest begin, it illustrates the huge export income incomes potential of the Nigerian economic system, notably if extra Nigerian businessmen are inspired and motivated to emulate Dangote’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Thus, it’s noteworthy that Dangote Group is about to start export of 82,000 metric tonnes of clinker to Cameroun month-to-month, with exports to Ivory Coast and Ghana to observe in the end.
The long run plan is to export 4 million metric tonnes of clinker yearly to varied elements of Africa within the subsequent two years.
The growth within the home manufacturing capability of its vegetation, which this entails, additionally implies that extra jobs will probably be created within the nation.
True, Dangote is primarily a businessman and enterprise will not be philanthropy. However Dangote’s efforts exemplify Adam Smith’s time-tested maxim that in pursuing his non-public self curiosity, the capitalist additionally promotes the general public good.
From large investments in sugar, salt, condiments, flour, packaging, power, operations and fertiliser over time, Dangote Group has emerged as a significant pillar of Nigeria’s economic system.
On account of its actions within the cement business, Nigeria moved from being one of many highest bulk importers of cement to self-sufficiency within the manufacturing of the product and is now an emergent main exporter within the business.
In an analogous vein, Dangote Oil Refinery, which is about to come back on stream subsequent yr within the Lekki Free Commerce Zone in Lagos is deliberate to refine 650,000 barrels of oil per day and generate 9,500 direct and 12,000 oblique jobs.
Dangote is a mannequin of the entrepreneurial power that may be unleashed in Nigeria if the requisite surroundings is created for the non-public sector to thrive.
That is all of the extra motive why authorities should maintain and intensify its ongoing efforts to repair, develop and modernise vital infrastructure nationwide.
Specifically, no effort ought to be spared to make sure the nation achieves a considerable enhance in energy provide inside the shortest doable time.
No much less necessary is the necessity to make credit score accessible at inexpensive rates of interest to allow the actualisation of viable enterprise concepts.
Not each budding enterprise entrepreneur can function on the dimensions of a Dangote at present or survive in the identical inclement enterprise local weather. However even Dangote was not made in a day. The younger should be enabled to develop.