Nigerian cement industry creates 1.6m jobs

28 January 2014

Following unprecedented growth of the Nigerian cement manufacturing sub-sector that has seen it become the largest in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the industry now engages 1.6 million Nigerians, Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, has disclosed.

This follows from the backward integration policy of the Federal Government and a ban on a locally discovered mineral, gypsum, both of which have buoyed job creation in the industry by attracting additional $8 billion investments and facilitating production capacity of 28.5 million metric tons in 2013.

“Latest information from cement manufacturers shows that the total investment in cement is between is between $7 billion and $8 billion, and it employs about 1.6 million people,’’ he said on Wednesday, while interacting with the Indian business community in Lagos.

The industry is likely to create more job opportunities for unemployed Nigerians in 2014, given that the government’s production target has risen to 39 million metric tons this year, from 28.5 million achieved in 2013. This could be attributed to the export drive initiatives marshalled out for the sector, aimed at satiating local demand of between 18 and 20 million tons as well as meeting international demands.

“We have had a major success in the cement sector. This year, it should be about 39 million metric tons, and we should have one of the largest, if not the largest cement factory in the world in Nigeria,’’ he said.

The job creation success story in the cement industry is expected to be replicated on other sub-sectors. This is in line with the Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan, a recent policy geared towards revamping and fast-tracking the growth and development various industries, Aganga said.

“The impact of the success story in the cement sector will be felt more with the inauguration of the new Mortgage Refinancing Institution that will support building and construction in housing. The housing sector has a lot of potential in terms of job creation.

“I hope that by February this year, the policy on cotton, textile and garment will be out. There are certain aspects of it that we have started implementing. For instance, in the area of finance, the Federal Government provided N100 billion CTG Fund but there is a case from the textile industries that they needed it at lower interest rate and for a longer term,’’ he said. 

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue