The Federal Government yesterday granted six firms new permits to import and produce cement locally.
The allocations allow the firms to import bagged cement into the country, in the short-tern, and, in the medium, begin local production.
The companies include Minaj Holdings Limited, Enugu, owned by Senator Mike Ajegbo; Made Well Products, Sapele, promoted by Mr. David Iweda and Bua International Limited, Kano, owned by Isiaku Rabiu.
Others are NICA Limited, Maiduguri promoted by Alhaji Hassan Adamu; Reagan Renaissance Limited, Calabar, owned by Mr. Reagan Ufomba; and Maan Labadu (Zane) Cement Company, Lagos, owned by Maan Labadi.
Commerce and Industry Minister Charles Ugwuh, who made the announcement, said the six companies which got allocations were those who were already in the business, on the very least, “in the last ten years”.
Ugwuh said that licensing the firms was a move by government to find short-term and long-term solutions to the cement industry in the country.
Last Friday, he had met another set of seven stakeholders in the industry who were already drawing limestone and other raw materials and producing locally.
These are WAPCO/Larfarge (Ewekoro), Shagamu; Ashaka Cement; Benue Cement Company, and Obajana Cement, both owned by the Dangote Group; UNICEM, Calabar; Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Sokoto; and Purechem, Ogun State.