By Peter Egwuatu
Chairman of Lafarge WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye has disclosed that shareholders and in deed all stakeholders have benefitted from Lafarge WAPCO operations for the fifty years of its existence in Nigeria.
He made this known last week during a media briefing to announce the company’s 50th Anniversary in Lagos.
According to him, “ shareholders, customers and indeed all stakeholders have benefitted from Lafarge WAPCO operation in the last 50 years.
The company is committed to supporting the government in strengthening the nation’s economy. Over the years our company has acquired strategic and visible presence in the business environment with competitive advantage in terms of product quality and consistency of our dear product, Elephant Cement.
This are more are what we celebrate at 50. We will continue to create employment by expanding our production plants and adding value to people’s lives”.
While answering question on what Lafarge is doing to bring the price of cement down, Osunkeye said that the price of cement is determined by many factors which the company alone cannot control. According to him, the infrastructure deficiency, like power, bad roads have been a major problem. We thank God that the present administration is trying to address the issue of power. Once this is done and adequate policy are put in place we will begin to see price of cement crash”
In the area of competition in the industry, the Lafarge Chairman said that the company is not scared of competition. “In fact, we welcome competition as this will help us improve on our efficiency and even lead to the crash of the price.
He declared that Lafarge is confident of not only sustaining its achievements but also hopes to surpass it in the next 50 years.
“ From next year, its capacity will be doubled with the commencement of the Lakatabu Project to increase production from 2.2 million metric tons to 4.2 metric tons of cement yearly to enable the company keep up the pace of growth in the construction industry” he added.
In his remark, Managing Director, Lafarge WAPCO, Mr. Samy Abdelkader, said, “ Nigeria has huge potentials, hence the company would do all it can to tap from it. Elephant Cement has remained the flagship of cement in Nigeria and is symbolized with the strength of an elephant”.
Continuing, he said, “ Our brand, Elephant Cement which is the celebrant, has not only left traces of its existence, it has made an indelible mark on the building industry and the country.
Today, our claim to leadership is in the value we bring to our business: commitment to health and safety, quality production that has stood the test of times, quality workforce that we continue to develop, returns on investment to our investors and our care to our communities around us. I am confident that we will continue to maintain these values in the next 50 years.
Speaking, Mr. Sefumi Adewumi, General Manager, sales and marketing disclosed that Elephant Cement has core market in the South West where its headquarter is located but hope to spread to other parts of the country in the nearest future as the company has begun to partner with the Railway corporation as well as the Water corporation to overcome the transportation challenges.