The Dangote Group has expressed its readiness to make Nigeria a recognised nation in the global cement market within the next few years. The group President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, stated at a local event: "it was time Nigeria started to look away from oil and gas and began to develop other viable sectors of the economy such as the cement industry".
According to him, the Dangote Group is committed to fully meeting national cement demand by ramping up its domestic production capacity to 20Mta within the next 12 months.
Dangote Cement currently accounts for more than 50 per cent of the market in Nigeria and is expanding its plants across the country to match and surpass increasing local demand. Noting that the envisaged production target would exceed local demand, which falls below global average, he added that the group was working towards ensuring that Nigeria became a net cement exporting nation by 2011.
Dangote stressed that the merger between Dangote Cement Plc and Benue Cement Company Plc (BCC), which gave rise to the listing of the emergent company, Dangote Cement Plc on the Nigerian Exchange, was designed to promote economies of scale and enhance operational efficiency. He also restated Dangote Cement’s target of becoming one of the top 15 global cement producers in 2015, by which time it envisages a total capacity of 46Mta in all its pan-African operations.
Already, the group has a cement plant in Ghana, which has commenced production, while it signed a $400 million with Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) on behalf of the government of Zambia recently, to enable it to establish a cement plant in that country. It is expected that the 1.5Mta cement plant would come on-stream by 2013.
"This means that the company you now have is no more that firm that boosts of only 8Mt of cement with few terminals but you are heading to owning a company with 46Mt of cement and a pan-African Cement company of Nigerian origin.