Nigerian President commissions new Dangote cement plant

Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group (left), alongside Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan at the opening ceremonyAliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group (left), alongside Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan at the opening ceremonyGoodluck Jonathan has commissioned a new multi-billion dollar Dangote cement plant, the largest of its kind in Africa

The Nigerian President commissioned the new plant, which is located in Ibese, Ogun State, Nigeria, during a ceremony. The event was attended by many high profile figures in Nigeria’s business world and further highlighted the country’s investment potential.

Delivering the keynote speech, President Jonathan emphasised the role the new plant will play in creating jobs for unemployed youths in the country. “No doubt, this will provide more than 7,000 jobs in form of direct work force, while also creating means of employment in areas like distribution of the finished products,” he said.

The new plant has an installed capacity of six million metric tonnes of cement a year, making it the largest of its kind in Africa. With the commissioning, the total capacity of Dangote Cement’s will now be 20.25mn metric tonnes of cement per year. The Obajana cement plant has an installed capacity of 10.25mn metric tonnes per year, while the Gboko plant currently produces four million metric tonnes.

Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, described the new initiative as one geared towards making Nigeria a major exporter of cement, thereby delisting itself from cement-importing countries. “We are marking the closing ceremony of cement import in Nigeria with the coming on stream of our Ibese cement plant, which will be producing a combined six-million tonnes per year from its initial two lines, while [an] additional two lines will be added immediately to increase its production to 12mn tonnes per year,” he said. “Our long term ambition is to develop 46mn metric tonnes of production and terminal capacity in Africa by 2015. We want to become a truly pan-African champion in the sector, capable of competing globally with the largest cement companies in the world.”

The cement business of Dangote Group generated revenues of US$3bn in 2010 and has spread beyond the confines of Nigeria, to other African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

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