FG saves $2bn through Dangote’s intervention –Buhari - News and More

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Friday, 24 November 2017

FG saves $2bn through Dangote’s intervention –Buhari

The commitment by Africa’s prolific investor, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to get the continent out of economic doldrum has yielded significant result following revelation that the Federal Government has saved over $2 billion through his investment in cement alone.

This was disclosed, yesterday, by President Muhammadu Buhari in Mfila, Congo Brazzaville, where another cement plant from the stable of Dangote Cement Plc. was unveiled. President Buhari, who was represented at the event by a powerful delegation led by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commended Dangote and his cement company for championing economic renaissance of Africa with the construction of cement plants across several African countries, saying the sterling accomplishment made Dangote Cement brand, and indeed Aliko Dangote himself, worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.

He said his administration had consistently supported and encouraged Dangote Group in its quest to contribute its quota to the economic emancipation of the African continent, which is blessed with a plethora of natural resources.

President Buhari recalled with satisfaction that local cement manufacturers such as Dangote Cement, Lafarge and BUA had exploited one of the solid minerals, limestone, which is a basic input for cement production and which Nigeria has in abundance in different parts of the country to achieve selfsufficiency in local cement production in 2015, and is now a net exporter of the product.

“The backward integration policy of the Federal Government in the cement sector, which was launched in 2002, has contributed to this success story by successfully substituting imports with local production, we have saved over $2 billion spent on cement importation into Nigeria, annually. “We have also started using cement for road construction in the country due to its numerous advantages over the more common bituminous road.

Again, in this area, Dangote Cement is leading the charge, through AGDangote, its joint venture with Andrade-Gutierrez, a construction giant in Brazil,” Buhari stated. The unveiling of the new plant, estimated at $300 million, provided an ecstatic moment for the government and indigenes of the country and community respectively.

The plant, which is the biggest in Congo, has potential for about 1,000 direct employment and thousands of several other indirect jobs.While inaugurating the plant, Congolese President, Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, said the investment was an industrial revolution sort of, within the Economic Community of the Central African States (CEMAC), saying his country was happy to host the investment.

Expressing hope that Congo will benefit greatly from the investment, he pointed out that the operations of Dangote Cement in other African countries had helped buoyed their economies by sparking off other allied industries. Speaking on the project, Dangote said his company was delighted to have completed the plant on schedule, saying the addition of Dangote Cement’s 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum plant had more than doubled the total cement production capacity of Congo-Brazzaville, which now stands at 2.550 million metric tonnes per annum, far in excess of national demand. According to him, “It is envisaged that this will contribute substantially to the availability and affordability of cement in the country and the Republic of the Congo will no longer need to depend on imports to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

“It is our hope that the inauguration of the plant will boost Congo’s economy, conserve foreign exchange that would otherwise have been spent on imports for the country, and create employment opportunities down the value chain.”

He commended the Congolese Government, noting that the bold economic reform measures put in place by President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s administration had been quite salutary. “The construction industry, which is a major sector of the economy, is a beneficiary of his policies, and has been receiving the attention of investors.

“We believe that our investment will contribute to Congo-Brazzaville’s current economic renaissance under the leadership of President Nguesso,” Dangote said. The Dangote Group Chairman pointed out that his organisation received tremendous support and encouragement both from the government and the people of Congo- Brazzaville, right from the conceptualisation stage of the project to its final completion and commissioning. Dangote disclosed that the cement company had already commenced CSR projects with the construction of a road with a length of 30km around Yamba, which would have cost the local government approximately 240 million CFA to execute.

(New Telegraph)

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