Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote on Wednesday threw a belated New Year’s party for the residents of Kanziko in Kitui County, where he will build a cement factory.
A number of goats were slaughtered as more than 2,000 locals were treated to a sumptuous lunch. This was after a public meeting at Kanziko market, where his younger brother, Mr Ado Dangote, briefed the residents about the project.
Mr Dangote is the richest man in Africa. Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai attended the event.
The younger Dangote had flown in from West Africa for the date with the owners of land in the limestone-rich fields of Mutomo, where he assured the community that a cement manufacturing plant would be established.
He said the Nigerian investment would turn the region into an industrial city.
“We’ll transform this area to the status of Mombasa or Nairobi with our investment. We’ll soon be your guests as we roll out our operations.”
The party was organised in line with Nigerian customs.
The event served as an introductory meeting to seek the community’s consent for the planned investment.
Local leaders promised to speed up licensing and statutory approvals at the county and national levels to pave the way for the multibillion-dollar project.
Ms Nyamai and local ward representative James Munuve said the authorities would offer the investors the necessary support as the project would create jobs.
Mr Dangote, who runs the largest manufacturing conglomerate in Africa, plans to invest Sh35 billion ($400 million) in Kitui in a plant that will be the biggest in East and Central Africa.