Dangote Cement: why we’re embarking on African expansion drive

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DANGOTE Cement Plc has said that its investments and expansion drive across African countries are strategic to contribute to the continent’s economy and make its products the most preferred by consumers.

Its Group Managing Director, Joseph Makoju, spoke at the weekend during a plant facility tour by top officials of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the firm’s Ibese Cement Plant in Ogun State.

The firm’s GMD said the Dangote Cement was way ahead of competition in quality, volume production size and production automation.

He said these are parts of the results of continuous investments by the management.

Makoju, who was represented by the Dangote Cement National Sales and Distribution Director, Adeyemi Fajobi, stated that besides the investments in expansion to ramp up volume, such investments have added value to the economies of the African countries where the company has presence.

To date, Fajobi added that Dangote Cement operates in 14 countries in Africa with efforts on to expand to other three within the next few months to make its presence felt in 17 countries. The ultimate aim, he stated, is to help other African countries to attain self-sufficiency.

“In the last 11 years, Dangote Cement has embarked on aggressive expansion drive which has seen it having an annual production of cement to the tune of over 29 million in its three production plants in Ibese, Obajana and Gboko, thus effectively eliminating importation of cement.

“Besides our continuous expansion, we also export to countries like Ghana, Benin and Togo. These are sources of foreign exchange for our dear nation. Where ever we operate, we operate as economic partners because we add value to the economy by creating employments.

“Our commitment is not only to meet production target, but quality and safety standard in our operations and this is one of the reasons we partner the regulatory agencies like the SON to devise means of keeping up the standard and raising the bar where necessary.”

Fajobi also explained how Dangote Cement has been able to check the incidence of faking of its products through its expansion of volume availability, saying adulteration and faking of products thrive where the original products are not easily available.

He said with the availability of Dangote Cement in every nooks and crannies of Nigeria, the problem of faking has been checked considerably.

In his presentation, the General Manager, Production, Ibese Cement, Sunday Adondua, an engineer, explained that Dangote Cement has gone far in its quest to lead in cement manufacturing in Africa.

He disclosed that the company now export Klinker, a major cement production component, to some African countries.

According to him, Dangote Cement now export Klinkers to the tune of about two million per annum and that these constitute a boost to the Nigerian economy.

Director-General of SON Osita Anthony Akpoloma, represented by Joseph Ugbaja, Group Head, Building and Civil, said the partnership with the Dangote Cement was for the good of the industry and that so far, Dangote Cement has been a leading light in the cement sector.

He explained that SON relationship with Dangote dates back to the inception of Dangote Cement manufacturing in Nigeria and that the SON has always visited the company’s plant on routine quarterly inspections.

Ugbaja stated the organisation has also certified Dangote Cement products on the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, which is an attestation to its goods product quality and the capacity to conduct in-process test and in-house test on its finished products in conformity with the standards.

“It may interest you to note that the revised standards for cement have been approved by the Standard Council of Nigeria and ready for implementation in response to your call for review,” he added.

The SON boss advised other sector operatives to borrow a leaf from Dangote cement’s model and invest in quality and volume expansion.

Highlights of the visit of the SON officials was the award of certificates to all those who came on the visit and gala night to make the visit memorable.

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