NIGERIA has attained self-sufficiency in the production of cement and is now an exporter of the commodity. This has been attributed to the vast investments by the Dangote Cement Group Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who led a team of the federal government to the Dangote Cement plants in the southwestern Ibese, Ogun State, said the government was delighted with the leadership roles played by Dangote Cement in executing the backward integration policy in the cement industry. The Minister said it is a success story that Nigeria which few years ago imported over 60 per cent of her cement needs now can produce to meet local demands and still export to other nations, this is highly commendable. "What Dangote is doing is marvelous," Fayemi said. "We need to commend them for the way they led the backward integration policy to turn around our fortunes in the cement industry." Dangote Cement Group Managing Director, Onne Van der Weijde, said the company exported nearly 0,4 tonnes into neighbouring countries and in doing so, achieved a great milestone by transforming Nigeria into a net exporter of cement. "This is a remarkable achievement, given that only five years ago, in 2011, Nigeria was one of the world's largest importers, buying 5,1Mt of foreign cement at huge expense to our balance of payments. We will increase our exports substantially in 2017," said Van der Weidje. Dangote Cement is Africa's leading cement producer with nearly 46Mt capacity across Africa. Its Obajana plant in Kogi, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13,25Mt of capacity across four lines. The Ibese plant in Ogun has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta. The Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta. The company plans to build new factories in Ogun State (3-6Mta) and Edo State (6.0Mta). In addition, it has invested several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and import/grinding terminals across Africa in Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. - CAJ News
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