Tanzanian minister lauds Dangote cement
The investments of the Dangote Group in cement manufacturing in some African countries have helped in boosting the confidence of foreign investors in Nigeria’s economy, despite security and other challenges facing the country, renowned economist, Mr. Bismark Rewane has said.
His declaration came as the visiting Tanzanian Minister of Environment, Terezya Pius Louga-Huvisa, commended the Dangote Group for the low emission level at its plants and efforts being made to green its operational areas at all its cement plants.
Rewane, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, spoke during the March edition of the monthly Executive Breakfast Meeting of the Lagos Business School (LBS), which was held at the school premises in Lagos.
He said Dangote group and a host of other local entrepreneurs had made a good showing of Nigeria’s economic image to the international community.
He stated that the investors’ confidence has been rekindled in Nigeria’s economy despite the insecurity and the negative reaction of the world market to series of events across the globe especially the African countries owing largely to the incursion of local businesses led by the Dangote group into other African countries.
Rewane noted that the satisfying investors’ rating of Nigeria in the face of the expected continuous fall in the price of oil and the rampant theft of the nation’s crude oil all of which have robbed off on the nation’s positive economic outlook of recent was partly bolstered by the investments in manufacturing across the African continent by the pan-African conglomerate.
He, however, warned that Nigeria stands to lose competitive market if the domestic economic challenges were not tackled.
Giving the analysis of global economy and the place of Nigeria, he said: “the weaning investors’ confidence in African economy has suddenly been re-energised by the investments in some African countries by some local investors, especially, the Dangote group’s incursion into the East African country of United Republic of Tanzanian thus mitigating the negative effect of the security and economic down-turn challenges being faced by African continent.
Rewane stated that Nigeria economy is suffering multi-faceted problems saying Agricultural productivity was already affected by floods, Boko-Haram insurgency and other and seasonal factors.
He pointed out that “Nigeria’s oil industry is threatened by oil thefts with over 60,000 barrels stolen from Shell alone while oil thefts cost the government $7 billion in 2011 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Production figures are expected to decline in May, June, due to a three-month lag, three force majeure have been declared year to date.”
In spite of these developments, the financial expert said Sub-Saharan Africa has been the target of various mergers and acquisitions, “Mergers & acquisition data reiterates potential in Africa. And According to Reuters, M&A transactions were valued at $25 billion with increase of 18 per cent from $21.2 billion recorded in 2011.”
According to him, Nigerian companies were the second most targeted accounting for 28 per cent, while the South Africa was highest with 48 per cent. South African and United Kingdom companies are the biggest Acquirers”, he noted.
“Dangote cement enters Tanzania with $420 million cement factory to produce three mmt pa Factory expected to supply the East African Community. Aliko Dangote is now the no 43 on the Forbes 400 richest men list. Uganda’s inflation eased to 3.4 per cent in February for the second consecutive month and the slowest in 26 months.
“This development implies that the Nigerian market is not as vulnerable to market contagion as other frontier markets, as it has limited impact from slowdown in Asian economies. There have been increased opportunities as more companies look to break into the Nigerian market. Nigeria’s share of world trade is 0.4 per cent and of FDI is 0.45 per cent.
Meanwhile, Louga-Huvisa, who is the current president of the African Ministers Forum for the Environment visited the Ibese and Obajana cement plants as well as Dangote Sugar refinery at Apapa, saying she was satisfied with efforts being made by the organisation to green its operational areas in line with the RIO plus 2010.
Louga-Huvisa commended Dangote cement over the pollution abatement mechanism in place in all the plants she visited and hope same tempo shall be maintained in the proposed cement plant for her country. She said she never believed it when told her in Dar es Salaam that Dangote cement’s emission level of 30 mg is far below that of the EU which is 50mg