BY PETER EGWUATU

Dangote Group has disclosed that not less than five of its cement plants spread across five countries in Africa will be completed this year.

The Group President and Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote said that the company 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.

Information available to Vanguard revealed that 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.

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