By Ismail Auwal

The president of Dangote Industries Ltd, Aliko Dangote, is set to commission five cement plants in five countries, aiming at opening new trade routes for Nigeria under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The new plants soon to be ready for commissioning are in Niger, Benin, Ghana, Cote D ‘Ivoire and Togo.

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

The business mogul in a statement said that the company is targeting an expanded entity in Cameroon in addition to its 29.3 million tonnes per annum capacity factory in Nigeria.

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

He said that the “Desire for Africa’s self-sufficiency in cement production informed the signing of a $4.34 billion contract with Sinoma International Engineering Company Ltd., a Chinese construction company for the construction of 11 new cement plants in 10 African countries, and Nepal in Asia.”

“For Dangote Industries Ltd., 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.

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