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BACKWARD INTEGRATION: MANUFACTURERS, OBASANJO COMMEND DANGOTE CEMENT

By NBF News
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Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has lauded the leading role being played by Dangote Cement Plc in the implementation of backward integration policy of the government in the cement sector and called for the replication of the policy in other sectors.

The manufacturers who gathered in Lagos for their 40th Annual General Meeting described as noble and commendable the efforts of Dangote Cement in the industry.

President of MAN, Kola Jamodu, who was responding to remarks made by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, said there was the need for the policy to be replicated in other sub-sectors of the economy and that government should also play its role for other sector players to embrace the policy.

He attributed the successes recorded by Dangote Cement in the continuous expansion of its plants to accommodate local consumption and export to the policy consistency of the federal government and urged the government to help manufacturers by ensuring right policies were not only in place, but also consistent.

According to him, there were lots of opportunities for investors if the right policies were in place, citing the example of Alhaji Aliko Dangote who he said was just 'a cement bagger, who keyed into the policy of backward integration to become a leading cement manufacturer worldwide. There was no special privilege enjoyed by him from government, he only embraced the policy and made up his mind to make something out of it.

'Dangote was not singled out for any favour, he only embraced the policy. Initially there were attempts to truncate the policy but thank God it is still subsisting'

Earlier, Obasanjo, who was a guest speaker on the occasion expressed hope that Nigeria could become an industrial giant with the right policies and manufacturers displaying the right attitude.

He recalled how his government put in place the backward integration policy in the cement sub-sector of the economy and that looking back now, he was happy that the policy has turned out a blessing to government's efforts at industrialising the country.

Obasanjo, however said Nigeria was not yet an industrialised nation and reiterated that investors like Dangote was what Nigeria needed to become an industrialised economy.

Contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the former president said throughout his tenure there was no special waiver granted Dangote noting 'he never had any waiver which others did not have. He only took advantage of the policy and it was made in the larger interest of all.'