Nigeria comes of age
Few countries in sub-Saharan Africa can hope to see their cement industry growth change so dramatically as in Nigeria, where cement capacity has been rising at a staggering rate. With a huge population estimated at 167m and a low cement per capita, the country has been somewhat groomed for such a rampant development phase and the signs are that by the end of this year or next, it will have a cement surplus to export. By Oluwatosin Ojo, Vetiva Capital Management, Nigeria.
With a surplus very much around the corner, the Nigeria cement sector is one of the most exciting stories of recent years. For more than a decade, the country has relied upon significant quantities of imports – as much as 70 per cent of Nigerian cement consumption was met by imports in 2001. Seeing imports now barely at 20 per cent of local consumption is a big shift. An outlook of a surplus, possibly by the end of the year, is even more interesting. Beyond the change in the production/import dynamics of the cement sector, consumption patterns have improved significantly. Though per capita consumption at 106kg still ranks comparatively low to other emerging markets, the 60 per cent growth in per capita consumption recorded over the last decade is an impressive feat.