Home » Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote slams Central Bank of Nigeria for 30-percent interest rate

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote slams Central Bank of Nigeria for 30-percent interest rate

Dangote, chairman and CEO of Dangote Group, criticized the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) recent interest rate hike to 26.25 percent, arguing it hampers business growth and job creation

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi
Aliko Dangote

Key Points:

  • Aliko Dangote criticizes CBN’s 30-percent interest rate, calling it unsustainable for business growth.
  • Dangote urges the government to create an enabling environment for manufacturers to thrive.
  • MAN President highlights the exit of over 70 manufacturers due to unfavorable policies.

Chairman and Dangote Group CEO Aliko Dangote has openly criticized the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) decision to increase the interest rate to nearly 30 percent, stating that such a high rate is unsustainable for businesses, and particularly manufacturers. 

Speaking at the opening session of a three-day summit organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, Dangote emphasised that the current rate makes it nearly impossible for businesses to thrive.

“Nobody can create jobs with an interest rate of (about) 30%. No growth will happen,” he emphasised.

In May, the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 24.75 percent to 26.25 percent. CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso, during the announcement, explained that the MPC held its 295th meeting on May 20-21 to review recent economic and financial developments and assess risks to the outlook, and the “committee’s decisions are as follows: Raise the MPR by 150 basis points to 26.25 percent from 24.75 percent.”

Call for government to review policy 

However, Dangote, while addressing the summit attendees, outlined the detrimental impact of such policies on the manufacturing sector. 

He called on the government to prioritise creating an enabling environment for businesses, particularly manufacturers, to operate successfully. 

“An import-dependent country is equivalent to poverty importation,” he warned, further elaborating that “No power, no prosperity. No affordable financing, no growth, no development.”

Dangote urged the government to focus on empowering the manufacturing sector to tackle the challenges of unemployment, poverty, and insecurity. 

He stressed that without such support and a conducive environment, the sector cannot reach its full potential and contribute effectively to the nation’s economic growth.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) also voiced concerns about the government’s policies and attitudes, pointing out their role in the manufacturing sector’s underperformance. MAN President Francis Meshioye lamented that more than 70 manufacturers have exited the sector between 2019 and 2022. 

“It is time to take stock and rethink a way to support manufacturing businesses, to achieve the agenda of the current administration,” Meshioye remarked.

Dangote’s commitment to industrial growth

In his commitment to industrial growth, Dangote continues to make strategic investments aimed at boosting Nigeria’s economy. His recent endeavors, such as the establishment of Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Limited, underscore his dedication to enhancing local content and reducing import dependency. This joint venture is expected to produce approximately 10,000 trucks annually, generating around 3,000 jobs and contributing significantly to the nation’s industrial landscape.

“We will continue to invest in the plant and achieve technological advancement for Nigeria. We will also continue to promote Nigeria’s economic development,” Dangote assured.

His investments across Africa, including in countries like Kenya, Togo, Malawi, Senegal, and Ethiopia, have created thousands of jobs and further cemented his role as a pivotal player in the continent’s economic development.

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