Management of Dangote Cement has concluded plans to open export facilities in both Lagos and Port Harcourt that would enable it to export clinker to some neighbouring African countries and attract foreign currency for the country.
Already, 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker was last week exported from its Lagos terminals to Senegal.
The company, in a statement revealed that its Port Harcourt terminal would soon start to export clinkers to the neighbouring countries.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote told shareholders also last week that the export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt would enable “…us to export clinker, initially to our grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants we are building in West Africa. Not only will these generate useful foreign currency in Nigeria, they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants. These will help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria, creating socioeconomic impacts that all stakeholders can be proud of.”
Speaking during the departure of the ship conveying clinker from the Lagos Export Terminal last week, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki said the increased exportation of clinker and cement to other African countries would not only place Dangote Cement among top clinker exporters in the world, but would also boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and reduce unemployment in the country.
“The beauty of what we have done is that we are going to be generating foreign exchange for the country in terms of dollars and Euros. For every batch of clinker, we export, the money comes back to Nigeria. The amount we are talking about is not small. Presently, Dangote Cement should either be number one or number two exporter of cement in Africa and the revenue we have generated in the form of foreign exchange is running into millions. Today, we have formally launched the Dangote Cement Export Terminal. We are still going to do another major launch when the second ship is going out of the country,” he added.
Sada recalled that only a few years ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, saying that “Dangote has gradually made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement production as well as an exporter of clinker to other countries.
He disclosed that the company would also be launching its export terminal in Onne in the next few days, adding that the terminal would enable the company export clinker, initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants the company is building across West Africa.
He explained that not only would this generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside Nigeria, it would also help to increase the output of the Nigerian plants, saying these would help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria.
He stated: “This terminal will assist Dangote to actualise the full potential of the company’s investment in cement. You know as usual, when the rain comes, sales decline, but not clinker export. This feat by Dangote is going to generate a lot of jobs because the Export Terminal has already created jobs to many Nigerians.
As at now, the numbers of employed Nigerians at the terminal have reached 100. We are targeting about 200 to 300 workers in Lagos Terminal alone.
“But, apart from job creation opportunities, the exportation of clinker by Dangote will position the country to participate fully in the Africa Free Trade Liberalisation Agreement when it comes into being, so that Nigeria will be protected against foreign products. It will also help the country compete effectively with every country that are in the business of exportation of clinker. At Dangote Cement, we are going about it aggressively and we are seeing it as an opportunity.”