Nigeria’s cement industry has blossomed in recent years and in 2013 it became a cement exporter for the first time in the country’s history. This year, the government is targeting further growth to bring capacity to around 39 million t. Against demand of 18 – 20 million t, this will leave the country with substantial export capability. Speaking at a meeting with the Indian business community, Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Mr Olusegun Aganga said that the government hopes to replicate the success of the cement industry in other sectors, such as cotton, textile and garment, under the National Industrial Revolution Plan. According to the Minister, the cement sector has a total investment of US$7 – 8 billion and employs some 1.6 million people.
Aliko Dangote has been a significant driver of this success as the man behind Africa’s biggest cement producer and Nigeria’s largest company, Dangote Cement Plc. Local press are reporting that the company is looking beyond Africa to South America, alleging that a preliminary JV agreement has already been signed with one company. Though the three countries Dangote is seeking entry to have not been named, Dangote Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin is quoted as saying that the countries the company is looking at have ‘huge natural resources and growth’. In addition, limestone mining rights have been signed in Indonesia and Nepal as the company expands into Asia.
With such plans, it is not surprising that in a recent interview with Bloomburg, Aliko Dangote is reported to have said that the Dangote Group would be among the world’s 100 biggest companies within the next three years. In addition to cement, Dangote is also investing in agriculture and oil refining across Africa – reports indicate that the Group is building a US$9 billion oil refinery in southwest Nigeria. In terms of personal wealth, Aliko Dangote has reportedly climbed to number 27 on the world’s rich list, with a net worth estimated at more than US$25 billion.
Edited from various sources by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/23012014/nigerian_cement_industry_keeps_on_growing_633/