Nigeria: cement manufacturers seek import ban

Nigeria: cement manufacturers seek import ban
Published: 23 April 2012

Tagged Under: Nigeria Dangote Cement imports 

Nigerian cement manufacturers have called on the federal government to ban bulk cement imports before the government’s August deadline, claiming that the volume of cement currently produced in the country is enough to meet local demand.

“[The] Government should enforce the ban before the August deadline,” said Mr Daljeet Ghai, Dangote Cement group chief executive. “Dangote alone has the capacity needed to meet local demand and sustain supply of the commodity across the nation,” he said.

Bruno Lafont, group chairman/CEO, Lafarge, also said that with the new plant commissioned by the company, the country is now self-sufficient in cement.

The current production data obtained from Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN), show that the country’s total cement production capacity is now at 22.5Mta while Nigeria’s cement consumption is 18.5Mt.

Dangote alone currently accounts for 15Mta (Ibese – 6Mta, Benue Cement – 4Mta and Obajana – 5Mta) while Lafarge Wapco Cement Plc group is contributing 5.3Mta (Ewekoro l – 1.2Mta, Shagamu Cement Plant – 0.8Mta, Ashaka – 0.8Mta and Ewekoro ll – 2.5Mta). Unicem produces 2.5Mta and Ava Cement produces 0.5Mta.

Citing the example of the company’s Ibese cement plant as basis for his confidence in the ability of local manufacturers to meet domestic demand and still be able to export,  Dangote’s Ghai said, “Ibese plant is grinding 480,000tpm, while daily production is 16,000t at 2400tph.

“The Ibese plant started with a production of 12,000tpd in February, but barely two months after, production increased to 16,000tpd, which is its full installed capacity, and this would lead to the achievement of the yearly target of 6Mt of cement.”

Vijay Khana, deputy director of operations at Ibese Cement, added that on a daily basis, the company supplies the market with more than 200,000 bags of cement from the plant. “ We load 250 trucks daily; a private truck can carry 600 bags, each Dangote truck carries 800 bags, while smaller trucks carry 300 bags.”

Similarly, Nigeria’s second-largest cement producer, Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc, said it is ready for the import ban. “For sure, I see it (ban on cement import) happening. The best thing for Nigeria is for us to manufacture here. If we manufacture here, we create jobs here, and we save the economy in terms of foreign exchange,” said Lanre Opakunle, plant manager at Ewekoro Cement plant II.