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Ashaka Cement is investing over €513 million in expanding its Nigerian operations

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World Cement,

Nigeria’s Ashaka Cement Plc is investing around €513 million (N100 billion) in the expansion of its cement facility in Gombe State, in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, Chairman of Ashaka Cement, told local press at an interview in Abuja that the expansion would boost local employment rates, increasing the number of jobs available at the plant from the current 630 to over 2500, and improve production capacity from approximately 1 million tpa to 4 million tpa. Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has reportedly been scheduled to attend the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place in April 2014.

During the interview Kwairanga commented on the recent discussions over the standard of cement produced in Nigeria and whether or not it is responsible for building collapse. He asserted that 32.5 grade cement is not responsible for building collapse in the country, especially in the northern region (where the company is based), and that the issue is more likely related to misuse of the product, as builders are not following the specifications given for applications such as block moulding. Kwairanga faulted the government’s plan to ban the manufacture of 32.5 grade cement, stating that it should be produced alongside the 42.5 grade product. This would result in more choice for consumers in the domestic market and the creation of more jobs.

Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling

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