Dangote Group is planning big for Africa in terms of cement production as it expands its business in several countries where it will be producing about 50 million metric tonnes of cement annually
| By Anayo Ezugwu | May 18, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
DANGOTE Group is planning big for the African economy. Its annual production of cement across Africa is now estimated at 30 million metric tonnes. According to Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, Africans should look inwards and put their human and natural resources to best use, rather than engage in political conflicts. Dangote who spoke through Mansur Ahmad, executive director, Dangote Cement, said the group’s cement production had surpassed Nigeria’s average total consumption of 20 million metric tonnes.
The company had also commenced cement production in some African countries such as Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa. At the completion of projects in eleven other African countries, the conglomerate’s total production would have surpassed 50 million metric tonnes.
Dangote Cement in Nigeria controls about 65 percent of the market and about 30 percent of stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. “The investments in other African countries are strategic and they are aimed at supporting governments across the continent by creating thousands of jobs for the people,” he said.
Dangote also stated that his involvement in petrochemicals, fertilisers and petroleum refining was another bold step at helping to reduce poverty in Africa through the promotion of gainful employment. The commencement of an oil refinery and other petrochemicals plants, he said, would make Nigeria independent, adding that the present development of depending on other countries for refined petroleum products despite its huge crude resources was unacceptable.
The company invested N217 billion on its expansion programme across African countries during the 2014 financial year. The countries are Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroun, Congo, Ghana, Cote d’Iviore, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. The amount shows an increase of 55 percent above the N140 billion invested in projects and normal capital expenditure in 2013.
In his report to the shareholders at the sixth annual general meeting in Lagos, in March, Dangote said 2014 was the year in which the company achieved significant progress in its goal to become a truly pan-African manufacturer and distributor of cement. “We began the year with three factories in Nigeria, a small import operation in Ghana and several building sites across Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result of the sizable investments that we have made over the past few years, Dangote Cement ended the year with new lines in Nigeria, factories becoming operations in Senegal and South Africa,” he said.
According to chairman, Dangote Cement’s capacity increased from 21 million tonnes in January to more than 34 million tonnes at the end of 2014. “As we were extending our geographical footprint across Africa, we consolidate our position in Nigeria by increasing our capacity from 20 to 29 million tonnes. I believe this has given us an excellent base from which to capture the growth in Nigeria, perhaps the most attractive cement market in the whole of Africa, averaging nearly a 10 per cent annual in ease since 2004.”
The chairman disclosed that apart from expanding the scale and reach of its business, the company took many steps to make it more efficient and more accountable by welcoming two new independent directors and by engaging with experts in risk management, environmental care, social responsibility and better governance. “As a result of all these initiatives, I believe our company is well on its way to be a global and respected force in cement production and efficient plants in exiting growth markets that will generate substantial returns for shareholders for many years to come,” he said.