NIGERIAN billionaire Aliko Dangote is expected in the country “in the next few weeks” to lay the groundwork for his multimillion investments after he received a licence from Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), a close associate has revealed.
Dangote had Zimbabwe buzzing last month during a one-day visit, where he announced that he would set-up a $400 million cement factory in the country.
ZIA chief executive officer Richard Mbaiwa told The Standard that reports that Dangote had developed cold feet about investing in Zimbabwe were not true.
“In the first place, the reports [of loss of interest] are based on events that happened before Dangote came to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“It cannot therefore be true that he has developed cold feet when he has registered a company in the country, engaged local consultants and lawyers, as well as received a ZIA licence.
“He could not be doing that as a crude joke.”
Mbaiwa said Dangote’s strategists and geologists had also been in the country for consultations.
Sources said Dangote’s team had briefed the Nigerian billionaire and he could be heading back to the country “to finalise the finer details” of the investment.
“He does not want to cause any noise around his investments. The same way he came without publicising things is the same way he will be coming,” the source said.
“Dangote does not want the publicity that surrounded his visit here last time.