In a bold step, Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc at the weekend held a ground breaking ceremony in Okpella, Edo state to signal the commencement of the construction of $1 billion investments in cement plants with potentials for 6,000 new jobs.

The new cement plants are expected to further increase the $3 billion the country has been saving from import substitution in cement yearly.

The new 6 million metric tons per annum capacity cement plant is coming on the heels of similar arrangement for another 6 million mtpa cement plant in Itori, in Ogun state where the company is currently running a 12million mtpa cement plants at Ibese, in Yewa division of the state. By this investment, Dangote’s production capacity will go up further to 41m mtpa, in Nigeria alone.

Impressed at the continuous investments in cement production despite having met local demands, the Federal government said the gains of the backward integration in the cement sector of the construction industry, as championed by the Dangote group is saving the nation huge billions of foreign exchange.

Dangote said “By God’s grace we will all gather here again to commission this plant within the next 26 months. There is no doubt that the presence of the plant here will impact positively on the community, its people and the state. On completion, this project will create direct jobs of about four to five thousand in addition to the thousands of other indirect jobs. Today, Nigeria is saving $3billion annually for not importing cement because of the investment by local cement manufacturers. The additional investment in the sector will guarantee that we always meet local demand as well as surplus for export and foreign exchange generation.

In his address of welcome, the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella Kingdom, Dr. Andrew Dirisu lauded the doggedness of the Dangote Cement and prompt response to the call for the establishment of the cement plant. He also commended the state governor for his support in acceding to the desire of the people to have Dangote cement in the Community, since the raw material is available.

In return, he promised that the community will provide necessary enabling environment for the investment to thrive because, it is to the benefit of Okpella and her people for the plant to operate and generate economic activities.

He urged the company’s management to ensure that the various Corporate Social Responsibility projects that the Dangote Cement is known to have provided for its other host communities, in various sectors should also be replicated in Okpella to the delight of his people.

Dangote Cement is a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer with production capacity of 29.25Mta in Nigeria. The Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 13.25Mta of capacity across four lines. The Ibese plant in Ogun State has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mtpa. The Gboko plant in Benue state has 4Mta.

In addition, the company is investing several billion dollars to build manufacturing plants and import/grinding terminals across Africa. It has operations in Senegal (1.5Mta), South Africa (2.7Mta), Cameroon (1.5Mta), Ghana (1Mta import facility), Ethiopia (2.5Mta) and Zambia (1.5Mta). We are also building plants in Tanzania (3Mta), Republic of Congo (1.5Mta), Kenya (TBC), Nepal (TBC) and Zimbabwe (TBC). We plan to build import or grinding facilities in Sierra Leone (0.7Mta), Ghana (1.5Mta), Cote D’Ivoire (1.5Mta), Liberia (0.7Mta). Just last week, the Company commenced arrangements for the construction of 3m mtpa grinding plant in Cote d’Ivorie.

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