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Dangote to create new trade routes through AfCFTA

Dangote Industries Limited has said its cement expansion plan and fertiliser investments are strategies to open new trade routes for Nigeria under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

President of Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said this in a statement yesterday in Lagos.

AfCFTA, which took off on January 1, aims at creating a single market for the movement of capital, goods, people and investments to further deepen the economic integration of the continent.

According to him, the cement company with an installed capacity of 29.3Mta in Nigeria, is targeting an expanded entity in Cameroon.

He also revealed that new plants would soon be ready for commissioning in Niger, Benin, Ghana, Cote D‘Ivoire and Togo.

Dangote stressed the need for Africa to deliberately improve its per capital consumption of cement to aid infrastructure development by stimulating further demand and forcing down the cost of the commodity.

He said the desire for Africa’s self-sufficiency in cement production informed the signing of a $4.34 billion contract with Sinoma International Engineering Company Limited, a Chinese construction giant.

The contract, the business mogul said, was for the construction of 11 new cement plants in 10 African countries, and Nepal in Asia.

Dangote said the report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the development of deficit infrastructure to ensure competitiveness in the AfCFTA had moved the company to leverage the deficit with its cement investment.

“For Dangote Industries Limited, moving goods, like cement by road from Nigeria, where they are manufactured, to Ghana, where there is a big market, is ‘unviable’, hence the need for new plants that will open multiple trade routes,” he said.

Also, the company’s Group Executive Director, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, explained that the movement of products by road was expensive.

Edwin added that the governments of Togo and Benin Republic had complained of the pollution that the trucks brought to the environment as well as the toll on the roads.

“With the success of the Doula plant in Cameroon, the company is already doubling its capacity in Yaoundé and targeting three million tonnes in the country to check competition as well as earn foreign exchange.

“Our desire to increase our investment with the Phase 2 project is based on not only the fast growth rate of the Cameroonian economy but also due to the warm welcome extended to us and the enabling environment created by the government of Cameroon.

“Our choice of Cameroon for this multi-million-dollar investment is quite strategic.

“Cameroon is the largest economy in Central Africa and is well endowed with abundant natural resources, political stability, adequate security and growing infrastructural development,” he said.

Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Cameroon, Mr Gabriel Dodo Ndocke, stated that since the establishment of Dangote Cement in Cameroon, accessibility to cement product, the price and the quality had become more enhanced.

Ndocke added that the impact of the company on the economy was huge.

“Today, you can get cement everywhere and the price is accessible for everyone and the market has been open to other investors creating job opportunities.

“Dangote has thrown the market open and before he came to Cameroon, our market was with just one investor in the sector.

“The presence of other investors has made it easy for us to get cement in a good quality and at an accessible price,” he said.

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