The director in charge of the Dangote Group for the South East, Mr Tunde Mabogunje, announced that the Dangote Rice would be ready by December this year. He made this statement at the launching of a one-stop shop for the group’s products in the south-east.
The move marks an expansion of the company’s foray into staple food production in the country. The group is already involved in the production of sugar, salt, flour and tomato paste. With their experience, scale and financial resources, there is likely to be a crash in market prices of rice across the country.
The move is also in line with the Buhari’s administration’s policy of being self-sufficient in food production. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given loans, running into billions of Naira, to farmers with its anchor borrowers’ scheme. The company may also end up setting the price of rice in the market.
Dangote cement is currently the dominant cement manufacturer in the country. The same applies in the market for salt production, where the firm operates at an almost near monopoly. Some analysts believe the group has become overly dominant in Nigeria and may crowd out small businesses.
Anti-competition laws in the country are quite weak. As a result, the Dangote group may continue to have a field day.