The Group of Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju has said investments by the cement company and its expansion drive across African countries were very strategic to contribute to Africa economy and make its products the most preferred by consumers.
He stated this recently, during a plant facility tour by top officials of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the Ibese Cement Plant of the company in Ogun state.
The Cement GMD said that the Dangote Cement was way ahead of competition in quality, volume production size and production automation saying 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 had added value to the economies of the African countries where the company has presence.
To date, he disclosed 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 aim, he stated was to help other African countries to attain self-sufficiency.
“In the last ten 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 counties like Ghana, Benin and Togo. These are sources 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 keep up the standard and raising the bar where necessary.”
He also also revealed how Dangote Cement was able to check the incidence 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 suggesting that 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, Engr. Sunday Adondua explained that Dangote Cement had gone far in its quest to lead in cement manufacturing in Africa disclosing 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 2 million per annum and that these constitute a boost to the Nigerian economy.
In his remark, the 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 of the built industry.
Ugbaja stated the organisation had also certified Dangote Cement products on the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme which was 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 has been approved by the Standard Council of Nigeria and ready for implementation in response to your call for review”, he added.
Sahara Group Moves to Boost Achievement of SDGs
Sahara Group has appointed Zuriel Oduwole, a globally acclaimed Girl Education advocate as ambassador in its bid to accelerate the achievement of the triad of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that focus on improving the access of children (especially girls) to education, fostering gender equality and creating more opportunities for girls across Africa.
The energy conglomerate’s partnership with Zuriel’s ‘Dream Up Speak Up Stand Up’ (DUSUSU Foundation), is targeted at the SDGs 4, 5 and 10, that seeks to enhance access to quality education, gender equality and reduced inequalities by 2030.
Globally, there are 31 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2016), over 9 million girls of primary-school age are out of school in sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership seeks to promote access to education and economic empowerment through film-making and other activities.
Owing to this, Sahara Group’s Head of Corporate Communications, Bethel Obioma, was quoted in a statement to have said the project would be driven by Sahara Foundation, the Group’s Corporate Responsibility vehicle. “This represents another major step for us at Sahara Group towards promoting the SDGs in Africa and across the globe. We believe the foundation for sustainable development rests on empowerment and access to equal opportunities for all children,” he said.
Speaking at the presentation of Zuriel as Sahara’s Ambassador in Accra, Ghana, the Manager, Sahara Foundation, Seyi Ojurongbe, said the partnership reinforces Sahara’s unwavering commitment to promoting equitable and inclusive quality education for all.
According to him, “empowering the youth, especially the girl child, is a goal that Sahara Group supports passionately and we have consistently implemented several educational and capacity building projects to enhance the achievement of this goal in Africa.”
Ojurongbe said Zuriel’s age and widely accepted global campaigns uniquely position her to convey Sahara’s message in a way that is inspirational to other girls around the world. “We are particularly excited that this is a sustainable approach to empowering youth and engendering economic growth and development.
“We are hopeful that it would bring greater global attention to state of the girl child in Africa and facilitate engagement on our web portal which provides users with a network of connections, facilitators and platforms through which they can partner to grow talent, ideas and businesses.”
Accepting her ambassadorial role, Zuriel said she was delighted to be given such an important role that will impact millions of girls in Africa and around the world.
She added: “Entering into this partnership with Sahara Foundation gives me a much bigger platform to contribute to global efforts aimed at empowering the girl child. With Sahara’s support, I hope to enhance my film-making classes for girls which have proven to be a strong empowerment medium.”
Also, the Country Manager, Sahara Group (Ghana) Energy, Tosin Etomi, expressed gratitude to Zuriel for accepting to be part of Sahara’s initiative on gender and inclusive education. “Education is key in the development process and bringing everyone on board, especially the girl child, will lead to a holistic approach to achieving the key goals under the SDGs,” Etomi added, saying, “initiatives like the one undertaken by Sahara and Zuriel at the Tema Manhean Secondary Technical School during which Zuriel took a number of female students through the art of film-making will have positive impact on a whole community.”