The Dangote Group, one of the largest industrial conglomerates on the African continent, has announced plans to expand its operations into the steel sector.

Olakunle Alake, group managing director of The Dangote Group, made the announcement during a panel discussion at the Infrastructure Solutions Summit organized by the African Finance Corporation (AFC) in Abuja.

“Apart from the oil and gas project that we are doing, we are also one of the key stakeholders that has supported the government in terms of the infrastructure tax credit scheme, and we are using local banks to build that capacity across Nigeria.''

Olakunle Alake, group managing director of The Dangote Group

According to Alake, “Apart from the oil and gas project that we are doing, we are also one of the key stakeholders that has supported the government in terms of the infrastructure tax credit scheme, and we are using local banks to build that capacity across Nigeria. I think that this is our major focus right now. In another couple of years, we will not go to Central Bank for foreign exchange for any of our activities, because at the end of the day, it’s a double situation, you import product which means you are creating jobs outside Nigeria and you struggle to get the FX.''

“For us, steel is one of the key areas.''

Olakunle Alake, group managing director of The Dangote Group

Alake continued, “For us, steel is one of the key areas. You recall that years back government decided that steel was major and set up Ajaokuta Steel and Delta Steel.”

In his address, the chairman of the AFC board and the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Obiora said that energy and infrastructure were key to the growth of the continent.

“The key is unlocking new sources of funding; both international and domestic.''

Dr. Kingsley Obiora, chairman of the AFC board and deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria

According to Obioara, “The key is unlocking new sources of funding; both international and domestic. Be assured such capital is available. It is locked in pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and mutual funds. We are limited only by our ability to reduce risk for investors and provide stable, steady and competitive returns.”