South East and South South cement boom
Cement consumption is on the rise in the South East and South South zones of Nigeria, according to a report from BusinessDay. The two zones, made up of 11 states, consumed a total 5.3 million t of cement last year, and had surpassed 6 million t before March this year, according to the report, which adds that supply is falling short of demand in the region. Though there are at least four cement manufacturers in the region, only two appear to be supplying the market, while of the two remaining, one is ‘moribund’ and the other ‘struggles to put out few cement bags in the market’, the report says. The shortfall is met by imports.
“There is a huge supply gap in these markets that needs to be filled,” says Olivier Lenoir, managing director of UniCem, the major supplier in the region with 1.8 million t capacity, growing to 2.3 million t this year. An expansion plan has recently been approved to add a 2.5 million t production line by 2016.
Nigercem Nkalagu ownership row
The ownership of Nigercem Nkalagu is in dispute. Inaugurated in the 1950s as a state-owned enterprise, the cement company was privatised in 2002. At that time the Eastern Bulkcem Limited (a subsidiary of the Ibeto Group) was chosen as the core investor with Ebonyi State government as a strategic equity holder. The target was to reactivate, upgrade and modernise the plant. Since that time, the government has complained that the Ibeto Group has no interest in carrying out the work to upgrade the plant and has asked the Group to step aside so that the state government might find alternative investors. A member of the House of Representatives has disagreed with this approach, saying that the company could commence operations immediately and would offer jobs to young people in the area.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/14082013/cement_newsbytes_from_nigeria_cement_108/