The government has ascribed the feat to Nigerian cement producer Dangote Cement which spear-headed the backward integration policy introduced by the government.
Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who lead a team of the federal government to the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun State this past weekend said the government was happy with the leadership roles played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry.
Group MD of Dangote Cement, Onne Van der Weijde last month presented the company’s financial results for 2016, in which he declared that the company had commenced exportation of cement to Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.
We exported nearly 0.4 Mt of cement into neighbouring countries and in doing so, we achieved a great milestone by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of cement. [quote]
“This is a remarkable achievement, given that only five years ago, in 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers, buying 5.1 Mt of foreign cement at huge expense to our balance of payments. We will increase our exports substantially in 2017,” Van der Weijde said.
Meanwhile, Minister Fayemi said it is a success story that Nigeria, which just a few years ago imported over 60% of its cement needs, is now able to produce enough to meet local demands and still export to other nations, this is highly commendable.
The Minister stated: “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 a tour of mining operations across the country to know and understand 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 is commendable. 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.”
Minister Fayemi said besides the mining operations, government was also trying to see how the big plants are operating in terms of being environment-friendly as observed in Dangote Cement.
“We need to collaborate and partner in these areas at a time when government is trying to reduce the country’s dependence on oil. We need to turn around our mineral resources just as we have 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 these sector is huge.”
Earlier while welcoming the Minister and his delegation, the Honourary adviser to the president of parent company Dangote Group, Engr. Joseph Makoju explained that Dangote Cement operates the largest cement mining operations across the country.
He explained that Dangote Cement also operates the largest coal-to-power plant as an alternative to gas, since the supply of gas has been plagued with incessant disruptions. He added that over 50% of the power need of the cement plants are generated from coal.
Dangote Cement, Africa’s leading fully integrated quarry-to-customer cement producer, has 46 Mtpa cement production capacity across Africa, and a production capacity of 29.25 Mta in Nigeria alone.
Its Obajana plant in Kogi State is the largest in Africa with 13.25 Mta of capacity across four lines.
The Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12 Mtpa.
The Gboko plant in Benue State has 4 Mta capacity.
Dangote Cement notes it plans to build new factories in Ogun State (3-6 Mtpa) and Edo State (6 Mtpa).
In addition, it has invested several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and import/grinding terminals across Africa.
Its operations are located in Cameroon (1.5 Mtpa clinker grinding), Congo (1.5Mtpa), Ghana (1 Mtpa import), Ethiopia (2.5 Mtpa), Senegal (1.5 Mtpa), Sierra Leone (0.7 Mtpa import), South Africa (3.3 Mtpa), Tanzania (3 Mtpa), and Zambia (1.5 Mtpa).