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I need 35 different visas to travel within Africa – Dangote

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has lamented that he confronts obstacles as an investor, because he needs different 35 visas on his Nigerian passport to…

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has lamented that he confronts obstacles as an investor, because he needs different 35 visas on his Nigerian passport to travel within Africa.

The 67-year-old business mogul said he does not have the time to move around the continent to drop his passport at embassies to get visas, adding that it is a big challenge.

Speaking at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, Dangote said his counterpart in France does not face the same problem.

Dangote said, “I still complained to President Kagame. I told him that as an investor, I have to now apply for 35 different visas on my passport.

“And I told Mr. President, I really don’t have the time to go and drop my passports in embassies to get a visa.

“But you see, the most annoying thing is that yes, if you are treating everybody the same, then I can understand.”

In his explanation, Dangote said the Chairman of Total Energies, Patrick Pouyanne, does not need 35 visas on his French passport to gain access to African countries.

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“You don’t need 35 visas on your French passport. This means you have a freer movement than myself in Africa,” he said.

In his submission about businesses within Africa, Dangote said, “Our main job is to make sure the regional markets all work. Once they work, then we can now go to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). But then, for AfCFTA also, we need to make sure that it works”.

“We cannot have a very promising continent and our intra-trade rate is less than 16 percent. Okay, so we Africans will have to do it. If we are waiting for foreigners to come and do it, both for the development of Africa, it’s not going to happen,” he said.

“So it can only happen to us Africans. We must risk our sources and make sure that we lead, then we will have people who actually trust and believe in Africa like Patrick to come and help us to push to the next level.”

At the event, Dangote said Nigeria will stop importing fuel by June, as his refinery begins production of the product.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of litre,” he said.

Consequently, Dangote said the shortfall in the supply of petrol will be addressed not only in Nigeria but other West African countries.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa. We have enough diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa,” he added.


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