Africa must cut reliance on food imports, says Nigerian billionaire
In this Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, photo, the logo of Fidelity Bank International is seen on the facade of an old bank building in Lagos, Nigeria. The bank’s new CEO, Adebisi Adekunle, who came out with a controversial statement in 2018, says his bank will no longer rely on Nigerian imports for about 45 percent of its food bill. The bank has pledged to slash its food import bill to zero over the next two to three years. (Tijjani Muhammad/NurPhoto/AP)
By Aliya Ali
LAGOS, Nigeria, Dec. 13—A Nigerian business magnate who says he has stopped eating imported foods has predicted a change in food imports in Africa by 2030—and is offering to provide it.
Adekunle Adebisi has pledged to provide an alternative to what he believes is a dependence on imported food, calling it “ridiculous.” He was speaking on the question-and-answer platform “Meet Africa,” hosted by Al Jazeera and the Nigerian news channel Premium.
Adebisi, whose Fidelity Group is Africa’s richest listed company, owns the Bank of Africa and the Agricultural Bank of Nigeria, and has made deals and investments across the continent.
He says that by 2030, Africa must significantly reduce its dependence on food imports.
“What I said at the bank … was that as soon as I came back from the United Arab Emirates where I was speaking to some very interesting people … who are doing the African thing, I said ‘If you want to have a revolution in Africa, get rid of this ridiculous dependence on the food import bill in Africa, and be able to go out and do business.’
“And I said that as soon as I came back, I made an announcement at Fidelity Bank that we