Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, wants Africans to pray for oil prices to remain low.
The billionaire businessman, who is building a petroleum refinery with a production capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, said this on a panel in New York, on Wednesday.
He said the crash in oil prices was the only way to wean Africans off dependency on petroleum revenues.
“We should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum,” he said.
“We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake – agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world.”
The meeting, which had high-level business leaders and international diplomats in attendance, was organised by the Corporate Council for Africa at the headquarters of global law firm, Shearman and Sterling LLC.
Alongside Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, Dangote emphasised the need for heavy investments in education, “particularly for young people to be well-trained for the jobs of tomorrow”.
He said Nigeria must produce five out of the 12 million jobs needed in Africa.
Dangote said Rwanda’s success story is an example of the positive change in Africa, adding that corruption “had been cured” in the eastern Africa country.
The Dangote Group CEO encouraged investors to visit Africa saying: “Go there (Africa) and find out the real story for yourself. Things have changed”.
Global crude oil prices had dropped to as low as $25 per barrel and members and non-members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut production supply to reduce supply glut.