Why Dangote Prays That The Oil Price Remains Low

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

It may seem counter-intuitive, but Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has been quoted as saying that he wishes for the oil price to remain low, with his oil-rich Nigerian homeland in mind.

Speaking at the United Nations general assembly in New York, the business leader told investors about Nigeria’s potential as an agricultural powerhouse, as well as his prayers with regards to the oil price, according to DailyPost.

The billionaire businessman is currently in the process of building a petroleum refinery with a production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, but despite his personal interests in the oil price, he wishes for it to remain low in order for the country to focus on diversification of its economy.

“We should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” Dangote said, according to EnergyVoice.

This week the Brent crude oil price was up to around $57, as traders waited to see whether the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Vienna ends with the group agreeing to extend production limits, PremiumTimes reports.

Dangote was talking to Rwandan president Paul Kagame at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC during a discussion on Africa’s opportunities and challenges in the presence of business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa.

Dangote focused on agriculture, not oil price

Rather than let Nigeria rely on oil in future, Dangote believes that agriculture is the way forward, with the West African nation able to provide for the world’s food security needs, in his opinion.

“Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world,” he said, according to AllAfrica.

In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption, according to APO.

“Five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria,” he predicted. “Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” Dangote concluded.