Nigeria’s Supervising Minister, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Aliyu Idi- Hong, has said the Federal Government is targeting a cement production volume of 10Mt in 2009, through a deliberate utilisation and increase in the installed capacity of all cement companies in the country.
He stated this on Thursday in Abuja during a press briefing organised to acquaint members of the public with the ministry’s activities over one year.
The minister said that the current production capacity level of cement manufacturing industries in Nigeria could not meet up with the actual demand, adding that it was for this reason the Federal Government came out with a policy aimed at boosting local production.
He said, “Currently, the total installed capacity of all the cement companies in Nigeria is estimated to be 11.25Mta while the actual current production is also estimated to be about 5.6Mt.
He said that the total annual demand for cement in the country was currently estimated to be 16Mta, an indication that supply was short of demand.
However, he said the Federal Government had begun the rehabilitation of all cement production plants in the country, noting that by the time they are commissioned, the installed capacity would have been increased.
Idi Hong, who is the substantive Minister in charge of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, was, however, optimistic that with all the initiatives towards revamping cement manufacturing industry, Nigerian should hope for a better day.
“With this initiative from the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, it is hoped that by the year 2009, the supply and the prices of cement in Nigeria would have been stabilised,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister has warned that the policy of government on cement was still in force, stressing that it had not been reviewed. He said it was for this reason that the Federal Government recently set up a Special Committee of all Stakeholders to monitor and verify the activities of all cement companies operating in Nigeria.
He said the Presidential Verification Sub-committee, which was set up by the Federal government, in collaboration with all the cement manufacturers in the Nigeria, has embarked on inspection visits to all the cement plants in Nigeria .
Speaking on the import of the setting up of this committee, the minister said, “The aim is to access the status and the capacity of the various cement plants in Nigeria and ensure their compliance with the backward integration policy of government.”