THE Federal Government has commended Dangote Cement Plc’s role in making the country self-sufficient in cement consumption and export of the excess to other countries in West Africa. Recall that the company exported about 0. 4 million metric tonnes of the commodities to neighbouring countries in 2016
Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, who gave the commendation when he toured the Ibese plant in Ogun State, said it was a success story that the country had moved from importing 60 percent of its cement to meeting local demand with excess available for export.
“We need to collaborate and partner in these areas at this time that government is trying to reduce the dependence on oil. We need to turn around our mineral resources just as 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. Imports in these sectors are huge,” Fayemi said.
He added that the government wants to replicate the success of the cement industry in other non-oil sectors to diversify the economy. Dangote Cement’s 2016 export sales summary by country, made available to Vanguard, showed that it exported 208, 720 metric tonnes to Ghana; Niger 104,907 metric tonnes and Togo 52, 120 metric tonnes. This totaled 365,747 million metric tonnes.
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer, Onne van der Weijde, said: “Dangote Cement has finally ended the era of Nigeria’s dependence on importation as the company exported nearly 0.4 million metric tonnes of the product to neighbouring countries in 2016. “We exported nearly 0.4 million metric tonnes into neighbouring countries and in doing so, we achieved a great milestone by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of cement. This is a remarkable achievement, given that as at 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers, buying 5.1 million metric tonnes of foreign cement at huge expense to the country’s balance of payments.”