Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said telecoms business in Nigeria thrived because of the initiative of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Dangote said this at a business conference organised by the Gateway Partners in Singapore. The video of the conference was posted on Youtube and Facebook on Tuesday.
The billionaire said government policies could either help businesses to grow or kill them.
He, therefore, stated that it took the creativity of Obasanjo to give telecoms companies a tax holiday before they could make profit.
Dangote added, “The telecoms industry wouldn’t have been successful especially in Nigeria when they came in. In Nigeria, we have a tax rule in which we don’t offer any tax holiday or any incentive to services but President Obasanjo was very very creative. That is the truth, not because he is here. I didn’t even know that he was here.
“There was a claim that there would not be any profitability and he said you know what, ‘I am going to give you a five-year tax holiday’ even though it was not in the tax law but as a President he had the prerogative of approving a tax holiday which he did and that was what even allowed them to come in because the calculation was that the entire country, both land and mobile, we had 500,000 lines in 2000 and today, you are talking about 147 million lines.
“So, it depends on the government of the day, it depends on what you can convince them to do and what they are trying to do.”
Meanwhile, Dangote is expected to hold a town hall meeting with the Chairman of Econet Wireless and billionaire businessman, Strive Masiyiwa, at the Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
Masiyiwa said in a Facebook post that they would attend the town hall meeting to discuss the future of African youths.
Obasanjo, who has been advocating for greater youth participation in politics, was said to have convinced the two billionaires at a business conference organised by Gateway Partners in Singapore.
Masiyiwa said, “Mr. Dangote and I have accepted an invitation from former President Obasanjo (who also attended the meeting in Singapore) to hold a town hall meeting in Nigeria in which he will moderate a discussion between the two of us on how Africa can help its young entrepreneurs.
“It will be held at his library in Nigeria, but will be broadcast live. We just have to find a date in our respective schedules. Hopefully we can do it this year.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Nigerian Movement led by Obasanjo has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for seeking a second term in office.
The spokesman for the CNM, Akin Osuntokun, told our correspondent that Buhari had done nothing to deserve a second term.
He said, “He would be required to clearly enunciate the record on which he wants to run for second term. He would have to clarify how his incumbency and the APC government has proven a better alternative to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan with whom they steadfastly compare record of failures – not achievements.”