The President of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote, has disclosed the company’s fresh investments drive towards expanding the output from its Douala plant, Cameroon, from the current 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) to over three mmtpa.
The initial investment cost the group $150 million (about N30 billion).
During his recent visit to Cameroon, Dangote met with the Prime Minister Philemon Yang; Minister of Industry, Mines and Technological Development Emmanuel Bonde, and the Minister of Trade Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana.
He thanked the government for creating an enabling environment for cement production in the country, adding that the company was already in the process of signing a contract for the construction of an additional cement production line, in anticipation of a growing demand for cement occasioned by massive investments in infrastructure.
According to him, the successful completion of Dangote Cement’s 1.5 mmtpa plant in Douala, Cameroon, worth $150 million (about N30 billion) made the country self-sufficient in cement production, with plans afoot to export the product to neighbouring countries soon.
Dangote also informed the prime minister that the firm had already imported 220 trucks and trailers to resolve the present crisis of transport issues, and now the cement can be delivered directly to customers in the villages, with effect of this visible in the availability of cement at the right places, which is likely to lead to price stabilization. The importation of trucks will be creating up to 5,000 jobs either directly or indirectly.
He however urged the Cameroonian government to continue to formulate policies that make investments thrive, saying such investment-friendly policies encouraged him to bring investments into Cameroon in the first place.
The prime minister expressed his happiness at the completion of the Dangote Cement plant within record time and stressed that the plant had helped his government’s agenda of massive job creation.
The Cameroon plant will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of this year. Last month, Dangote commissioned a cement plant in Ethiopia.
…Urges govt on use of concrete for roads
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement Plc has called on governments to use cement concrete in road construction in line with global best practice.
The company said concrete roads are more durable, save lives and are cheap in the long run.
Speaking at the Abuja Housing Fair, Training Manager of the Obajana Plant Haruna Adinoyi, said Nigeria will benefit more by using concrete.
He said: “Concrete roads may be about 15 to 20 percent more expensive than asphalt road, but in the long run, in terms of durability, it is better because the maintenance cost is near zero.”
Meanwhile, Adinoyi has attributed the current high price of cement in the market to the poor state of infrastructure in the country which has impacted on the cost of production.
Mr Adinoya said: “Because of the state of our infrastructure, manufacturing in Nigeria is still very expensive; you have to install your own power plant, construct roads and, in our case, even construct dams for our water supply, and all these add to the cost of production.
“What we are witnessing as a country is a systemic problem; cement prices cannot just come down when the price of other inputs are high. We brought the price drastically down at some point but because of what happened to the economy, we were forced to go back up.
“But with good governance, there is the tendency that infrastructure development will get the attention and therefore the overall cost of manufacture and cost of doing business in Nigeria will begin to come down and that will definitely reflect in the price of cement.”