The management of Dangote Cement Plc, on Sunday announced the export of 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker to a neighbouring Senegal, the first in its industry, thereby boosting Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
A statement by the Dangote Group said the clinker export from the Dangote Cement Export Terminal located in Apapa Port, Lagos weekend, also places Nigeria as a leading clinker exporter in the world.
With this historic maiden voyage from its Export Terminal the company said Nigeria, which until recently was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, is not just the first to become self-sufficient in cement production, but an exporter of cement clinker to other countries.
It assured that the quantity of clinker exported to other African countries within the next few weeks, as improves intra-regional trade within the ECOWAS region.
Reacting to the development, the statement quoted the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) as commending Dangote Cement for helping to transform Nigeria to one of the biggest cement and clinker exporters in the world.
The statement quoted the Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki, as saying during the departure of the ship conveying the clinker consignment as saying the increased export of clinker and cement, besides boosting Nigeria’s FX earnings, would reduce the country’s unemployment level.
“The beauty of what we have done is that… 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 will also launch in the coming days, its export terminal in Onne to enable it export clinker initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon in the next few days and then to new grinding plants being constructed across West Africa.
He explained that this would generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support its other expansion projects outside Nigeria, besides helping to increase the output of the Nigerian plants.
This terminal, he stressed further, will help the company actualise the full potential of its 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 number of employed Nigerians at the terminal has reached 100… We are targeting about 200 to 300 workers in our 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 in the business of exportation of clinker.
“At Dangote Cement, we are going about it aggressively and we are seeing it as an opportunity,” he assured.
The plan, he continued, “is to send clinker from Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana… Cameroon as an example, takes about 82,000 metric tonnes every month.
“Our target is to export at least 4 million metric tonnes of clinker annually to various parts of Africa.
“That is our target that we hope to achieve within the next one to two years. This particular voyage is going to our sister company in Senegal. We have an integrated plant of 1.5 million tonnes and this one is expected to give the plant additional clinker that is required for the plant to sustain production.
“In the next one week or two, we are going to be shipping 82,000 metric tonnes to Cameroon in batches of about 25,000 to 29,000 metric tonnes per voyage,” he added.
Acting Director-General of MAN, Chuma Oruche said “the export of clinker by Dangote Cement at the weekend will definitely be beneficial to Nigerian economy in terms of export earnings, job creation and wealth creation for families connected with these achievements.”
Photo caption: Left to Right: Project Manager – Apapa Clinker Export/ Gypsum Import Terminal (Dangote Projects Limited) – Engr. Francis O. Obiakor; Managing Director, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, Akin Omole; Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki; Director, Export, Dangote Industries/Dangote Cement Plc, Ekanem Etim and SGM, Head Community Affairs and Environment, Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Tukur M. Lawal, during the sail-off of vessel conveying clinker to Senegal from Dangote Cement Export Terminal, Apapa, Lagos.