Nigeria foresees end to importation of cement

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LAGOS, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — The importation of cement would soon be over with the level of operation at cement factories in Nigeria, a top government official has said.

Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said this on Monday while inspecting the Dangote Cement Plant in southwest Ogun State. Nigeria was on the verge of being self-sufficient in cement production, the minister said.

According to him, the Ibeshe plant was capable of producing six million tones of cement per annum when completed.

“My intention of coming here is to know about where we are in the concept of backward integration policy of government so that government can set a target for the indigenous manufacturers,” he added.

“From what I have seen here, Dangote Cement is a success story. I am pleased and satisfied with the high pace of work and very optimistic that Nigeria will soon become self-sufficient in cement production,” the minister said.

“I must say that much has been achieved by Dangote Cement in an attempt to meet local demands and government will like to replicate these exploits in the production of rice, sugar and wheat,” he added.

Aganga urged other businessmen to emulate the entrepreneurship skills of Aliko Dangote by setting up firms that would create jobs and boost the economy.

Earlier, the President of Dangote Group, Dangote, said the company’s investment in the Nigerian economy was part of its strategy to move away from outright importation to local manufacturing.

Dangote said the strategy had drastically reduced the country’s import bill.

The Ibeshe plant is an automated factory with constant online monitoring equipment to guarantee high quality cement, he added

According to him, the two line plant has a 70 kilometer cable linking the production process from limestone crushing to the bagging of the finished products.

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