Lagos — Major cement distributors at the weekend in Lagos urged government to encourage indigenous entrepreneurs like Alhaji Aliko Dangote through banning the importation of cement which is now produced in sufficient quantities in the country.
The distributors, rising from a day retreat with the management of Dangote Cement, commended the cement company for creating massive employment in the economy.
Chairman, Giwa Dynamic Ventures Ltd Alhaji Bala Muhammad Getso, speaking at the retreat said that entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote are needed to drive the economy as they create massive employment opportunities.
Alhaji Getso, who described Dangote Industries Ltd as the biggest employer of labour after the federal government, urged government to ban importation of cement in any form to encourage domestic manufacturing.
He said: "Dangote is the biggest employer of labour after the government. We need such people who establish industries that build the economy. I commend him for venturing into manufacturing and keeping people gainfully employed. The distributors are gainfully employed, builders are gainfully employed. People in the construction industry are gainfully employed."
Getso, who is also the biggest distributor of Dangote Cement nationwide, described continuous cement import as policy inconsistent.
Mrs. Chinwe Nwosu, an Awka, Anambra state based distributor, in her contribution commended Dangote Cement for creating employment opportunities through employing people in the factories and indirect employment through people who earn a living from cement industry related activities.
According to her, the distributors employ people who work for them while block makers, brick layers, masons and others in the building industry also earn a living within the industry. Dangote she said, should be encouraged to invest more in other sectors of the economy.
A Sango-Ota based distributor, Aremu Kazeem Babatunde, noted that Dangote Cement has the capacity to meet local demand for cement and wondered why government should still import cement in any form. He opined that local investors should be encouraged and protected so that their investments will thrive and create the necessary linkages lacking in the domestic economy.
President Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, while addressing the distributors thanked them for their massive support for Dangote Cement. He said that management of Dangote Cement is more determined to drive the company to higher levels for the benefit of all stakeholders. He urged the distributors to see the business as a partnership with Dangote Cement and pledged to support them in their dreams of building their businesses.