Dangote Begins Construction Of $1bn Cement Plant In Edo

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, (THEWILL) – The Dangote Group has started the construction of a one billion dollar cement factory, with a capacity of six million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa), in Okpella, Edo State, to expand its cement production in Nigeria.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Okpella plant which is to be constructed within 26 months, will provide 6000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs in the community.

Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Solid Minerals, at the ground breaking ceremony at Okpella on Sunday, said that the cement plant was an evidence that the diversification agenda of the Federal Government was already working and advised other investors to take a cue from Dangote's commitment and support to transform the nation's economy through active participation.

Fayemi said that the cement plant would be a model that would bring positive changes to the nation's solid minerals sector in the areas of job creation, foreign exchange earnings and local content promotion adding that mining sector was currently contributing 0.34 per cent to the GDP and had potential to contribute over 25 million dollars annually to the economy by 2025.

Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, commended the expansion drive of Dangote Group through its commitment to liberate the country from cement importation, increased job creation and foreign exchange earnings.

“Dangote Group is the second largest employer of labour in the country, second to the Federal Government,” he said represented by Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment.

“‎The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment will continue to partner with Dangote in providing the necessary support for investment growth in the country.”

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, urged other investors to explore investment opportunities in the country considering the Federal Government's readiness to resuscitate the industrial sector through investment friendly policies adding that local cement manufacturers were saving the country three billion dollars annually through cement import substitution.

“The additional investment in the sector will guarantee that we always meet local demand as well as surplus for export and foreign exchange generation,” he said.

“A key factor that drives investments in an economy is the presence of an investor-friendly business climate.

“Nigeria is a growing economy. Our developmental challenges are quite enormous and will require the combined efforts of government and private sector to overcome them.

“It is in this light that we are here to contribute our own quota to transforming the economy of Edo State as we have done elsewhere.

“This project is only one of our several successful projects presently ongoing in parts of the country and outside in more than 15 other locations in African countries in line with our Pan African investment strategy.”

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said that the establishment of the cement plant would increase the internally generated revenue of the state and reduce its dependence on federal allocations from oil wealth.

Story by David Oputah