The Nigerian government has officially confirmed that the country has attained self-sufficiency in cement production and is exporting the commodity.
Government ascribes this feat to Nigeria-based cement producer Dangote Cement’s implementation of government’s backward integration policy for the industry.
Achieving this was, in part, attributable to Dangote Cement’s operating one of the largest coal mines in the country, thereby ceasing to import coal for its operations, and allowing it to exercise the growing competitive advantage. The coal is used to generate power for the cement plant and is an alternative and complementary source of energy. More than 50% of power needed by the plant is generated from coal. Gas supply and distribution in Nigeria have been plagued by incessant disruptions, according to Dangote Cement.
Nigeria Solid Minerals Development Minister Dr Kayode Fayemi, who supervises a team of the federal government dealing with the Dangote Cement plants in Ibese, Ogun state, says government is happy with the leadership role played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry.
In addition, Dangote Cement group CEO and MD Onne van der Weijde noted in February, during the presentation of the company’s financial results for 2016, that the company had started exporting cement to Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.
“We exported nearly 0.4-million tonnes into neighbouring countries and, in doing so, we achieved a great milestone by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of cement,” said Van der Weijde.Huge Expense
He added that this was a remarkable achievement, considering that, in 2011, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest importers, buying 5.1-million tons of foreign cement, at “huge expense to our balance of payments”.
Dangote Cement plans to increase its exports substantially this year.