The Federal Government of Nigeria has formally confirmed hat Nigeria has reached the level of self-sufficiency in cement production and has even attained the level of exportation, crediting Dangote Cement for the feat.
According to the Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the government was very happy with the leadership role played by Dangote Cement in executing the “backward integration” policy in cement industry.
He made this known recently when he visited the Dangote Cement plants in Ibeshe, Ogun, alongside other top echelon in the Ministry of Solid Minerals.
Making reference, the minister stated that it is good news to hear that Nigeria that was importing over 60 per cent cement few years ago is not just self-sufficient now, but has also reached exportation level.
He noted: “As you all know, as the Federal government moves to diversify the economy away from oil, two areas the government is focusing on are agriculture and solid minerals, this is why we are embarking on tour of mining operations across the country to know the challenges they face and what could be done to tackle those challenges.”
“What Dangote Cement is doing is marvelous. We need to commend them. The way they led the backward integration policy to turn around our fortunes in the cement industry. I am delighted to see the development here bigger than what I saw the last time. And we are looking at how we can replicate the successes in the cement industry in other non-oil sectors of our economy,” Fayemi said.
The minister was also upbeat about the solid minerals sector, assuring that efforts are on top gear to turn around the sector through collaboration and partnership with relevant bodies just as the case of cement production.
The Minister added: “We need to collaborate and partner in these areas at this time that government is trying to reduce the dependence on oil. We need to turn around our mineral resources just as what obtained in cement sector. When you look at the our solid mineral industry, there is a wide gap between what we can produce and what is consumed, importation in these sector is huge.”
In his comment, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Onne Van der Weijde, said: “This is a remarkable achievement, given that only five years ago, in 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers, buying 5.1mt of foreign cement at huge expense to our balance of payments. We will increase our exports substantially in 2017.”
It will be recalled that last month, Onne Van der Weijde, presented the financial results of the company for 2016 where he declared that the company had had started exporting cement to other countries.
“We exported nearly 0.4mt into neighbouring countries and in doing so, we achieved a great milestone by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of cement,” None Van der Weijde revealed.
Dangote Cement is the leading Africa’s cement producer with nearly 46mta capacity across Africa. Apart from its Obajana plant in Kogi state which is the largest in Africa with 13.25mta of capacity across four lines, other parts of Africa which he has invested billions of dollars in cement production are: Cameroon (1.5mta clinker grinding), Congo (1.5mta), Ghana (1mta import), Ethiopia (2.5mta), Senegal (1.5mta), Sierra Leone (0.7mta import), South Africa (3.3mta), Tanzania (3.0mta), and Zambia (1.5mta).