The Nigerian Government officially confirmed that Nigeria has attained self-sufficiency in the production and exportation of cement. This was made known by the Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who led a team of federal government delegates to the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun State. The minister further stated that this feat was achieved due to Dangote spare heading the backward integration policy introduced by the government.
“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,” said the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Onne Van der Weijde.
Last month, Onne Van der Weijde, while presenting the financial results of the company for 2016, declared that the company had commenced exportation of cement to Nigeria’s neighbouring 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,” said Onne Van der Weijde.
The minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said it is a success story that Nigeria, which a few years ago imported over 60 percent of her cement needs, can now produce to meet local demands and still export to other nations. Fayemi further said:
“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 is doing is marvellous. 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 that 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.”
“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 the cement sector. When you look at our solid mineral industry, there is a wide gap between what we can produce and what is consumed, importation in this sector is huge.”
Dangote Cement operates the largest coal mining to generate power as an alternative to gas since the supply of gas has been plagued with incessant disruptions.
Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 46mta capacity across Africa. It has a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer with production capacity of 29.25mta in Nigeria.
Its Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.25mta of capacity across four lines.