Dangote Industries Ltd says its cement expansion plan and fertilizer investments are strategies aimed at leveraging trade deals and opening new trade routes for Nigeria under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was contained in a statement issued by the President of Dangote Industries Ltd, Aliko Dangote, on Sunday, January 10, 2021, in Lagos.
Dangote pointed out that the cement company with an installed capacity of 29.3Mta in Nigeria is planning to expand to Cameroon with its new plants expected to be ready for commissioning in Niger, Benin, Ghana, Cote D ‘Ivoire and Togo.
Aliko Dangote said that the signing of the $4.34 billion contract with Sinoma International Engineering Company Limited, a Chinese construction giant, was part of the strategy to fulfill the desire for Africa’s self-sufficiency in cement production.
According to the Dangote, the contract was for the construction of 11 new cement plants in 10 African countries, and Nepal in Asia.
Dangote said the report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on the development of deficit infrastructure to ensure competitiveness in the AfCFTA, had made the company to leverage the deficit with its cement investment.
“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.’’
On his part, the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Devakumar Edwin, stated that movement of products through road was expensive, just as he also said that the Togolese and Beninese governments have both complained about the pollution from the trucks to the environment and the stress on the road infrastructure.
“With the success of the Doula plant in Cameroon, the company is already doubling its capacity in Yaoundé and targeting three million tonnes in the country to check competition as well as earn foreign exchange.
“Our desire to increase our investment with the Phase 2 project is based on not only the fast growth rate of the Cameroonian economy but also due to the warm welcome extended to us and the enabling environment created by the government of Cameroon. Our choice of Cameroon for this multi-million-dollar investment is quite strategic.
“Cameroon is the largest economy in Central Africa and is well endowed with abundant natural resources, political stability, adequate security and growing infrastructural development.”
AfCFTA, which finally took off on January 1 2021, after years of negotiations and delays, 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.
AfCFTA, which is an agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union countries is the largest in the world in terms of the number of participating countries, since the formation of the World Trade Organization.