In furtherance of the Group’s pan-African expansion drive, not less than five cement plants belonging to Dangote Cement and spread across five countries in Africa will be completed this year, the Company has disclosed.
According to a statement, the plants at various stages of construction, according to the Group President and Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote will add about 13.5mmt of cement per annum to the existing capacity, when completed.
The on-going plant projects are Zambia, 1.5mmtpa; Tanzania, 1.5mmtpa; South-Africa 3mmtpa; Republic of Congo, 1.5mmtpa; and Gabon 1.5mmtpa.
Back home, Dangote Cement is already working on additional third and fourth production lines to the existing 6mmtpa in Ibese, Ogun state to bring the total capacity to 12mmtpa and another 3mmtpa line currently being added to the Obajana cement plant in Kogi state.
Addressing a group of African businessmen in his office at the weekend, Dangote said the group’s core business focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the basic needs of the populace through construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities across Africa.
According to him, the Group is focused on building local manufacturing to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people.
He disclosed that presently, Obajana is the largest cement plant in sub-saharan Africa with a current capacity of 10.25mmtpa and an additional 3mmpa planned before the end of this year.
Dangote stated that the Group would continue to lead other investors to ensure Nigeria becomes an industrial giant nation that is self-sufficient in production rather than being a leader in importations.
Stressing on the need for investments in the real sector, he said “This indeed, shows that Africa is gradually taking its destiny in its own hands rather than wait for investors from outside Africa. Investment in the real sector of the economy is the only way that our continent can achieve the much desired accelerated growth and development that we have yearned for.
“The developmental challenges of Africa are quite tremendous. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute issued in June 2010, Africa requires at least $46 billion in spending annually to meet infrastructural needs. It is obvious that African governments alone cannot hope to meet this demand due to the various competing needs in other aspects of the economy.
“We are motivated to create an African success story because we believe that entrepreneurship, especially our own home-grown African entrepreneurship, holds the key to the future economic growth of the continent. The fact that Africa offers one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) in the world is an additional incentive for any discerning investor, who can take calculated risks,” he added.
He assured that with his Group’s massive investments in the cement production, not only will Nigerians enjoy reduced price stability, but that the nation will become exporter of the commodity to other countries.
The Group President maintained that continuous investments in Nigeria and the rest of Africa was borne out of the fact that the country was a fertile ground for investment and that no one outside Africa would be genuinely determine to develop Africa except African themselves.
He explained the efforts put into the multi-million dollar plants as worthy when perceived from the standpoint of the fact that there is the need for job and wealth creation in the country adding that these two critical necessities could only be achieved through manufacturing.
Dangote pledged the Company’s unwavering commitment to jobs and wealth creation for the citizenry pointing out that agriculture holds the ace and that informed the decision by the group to venture into fertilizer production so as to help the farmers.
The Dangote Group is an emerging African conglomerate based in Nigeria, West Africa, driven by a mission to touch the lives of people by providing their basic needs. Current interests of the Group, which started as a trading company in 1978, include cement, sugar, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate, with new projects underway in the oil and gas sector.
Some of the Group’s 13 subsidiaries are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). They include: cement, sugar, salt and flour. The Group is fully involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, which it executes through the Dangote Foundation.
By Benson Akomo