By PROVIDENCE OBUH
Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc said it is aggressively pursuing its pan-Nigeria expansion through the acquisitions of some local cement firms in the country.
Country Organisation and Human Resources Director, Lafarge Nigeria, Mrs. Fidelia Osime, disclosed this during the launch of the “State of World Cities Report” (SWCR) at Caleb University, Imota, Ikorodu Lagos.
Osime said, “We have been in Nigeria for over fifty years and currently enjoy a national presence with Lafarge WAPCO in the South–West, and we are now targeting pan-Nigeria markets through the spread of our subsidiaries such as: UNICEM in Calabar, Atlas in the East and Ashaka Cement Plc in the North.
“We will expand pan-Nigeria in no distant future. Lafarge has very strong commitment to Nigeria and this explains why we have grown from three million metric tonnes in 2008 to 8.5 million metric tonnes in 2012 with an investment of one billion euros during the period,” she stated.
She also said that plans are underway to double their capacity in the next three to four years as indicated by the recent ground breaking ceremony of additional three million tonnes capacity new line in AshakaCem.
On why the company sponsored the launch of ‘World cities report, she noted,
“Ät Lafarge, we believe that the main 21st century challenge is the acceleration of growing urbanisation and its human economic and political impact, and our objective is to bring solutions to build better cities, more beautiful, more compact, more connected, more durable.
“Our sponsorship and participation in this event is well considered as it is quite central to our commitment of building better cities. With our large and growing population, the needs arising from an 18 million housing deficit, there is no better place than Nigeria to demonstrate what we can bring to alleviate this global challenge.
On his part, Prof. Banji Oyelaran Oyeyinka, Director, Monitoring and Research, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya, added that in the absence of effective urban planning, the consequences of rapid urbanisation will be dramatic.