Dangote Cement to open export facilities in Lagos, P’Harcourt - PUNCH
BY ’Femi Asu
Dangote Cement Plc has said it will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt this year, and attract $700m foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy.
The Chairman, Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, disclosed this on Monday at the company’s 10th Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
Shareholders at the AGM approved a dividend payment of N16 per 50 kobo ordinary share and commended the company for increasing the dividend for the 2018 financial year by 52.4 per cent from the N10.50 paid in 2017.
The chairman said 2018 was the company’s most successful year ever, with 7.4 per cent growth in the group’s cement sales to 23.5 million tonnes and 11.9 per cent growth in revenues to N901.2bn.
He said, “Sales of cement from our Nigerian plants increased by 11.4 per cent to 14.2 million metric tonnes in 2018. Our Pan-African operations contributed 9.4 million metric tonnes, level on 2017, with strong performances in Cameroon, Senegal and Zambia helping to offset weaknesses in Ethiopia and gas turbines now operating in Tanzania, we expect these two large plants to improve their performance in 2019, further increasing profitability.
“As an organisation, we are focused upon improvement in all areas and I wish to pay tribute to all our staff for their constant efforts towards achieving the vision of our board and executive team.”
Dangote said the company would be effectively operating in at least 18 African countries in a short while by increasing the capacity of its Obajana Plant to 16 million metric tonnes, making it one of the biggest cement plants in the world.
In an interview with journalists after the AGM, he said, “We have a lot of ongoing projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export one million tonnes as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria. We will have a capacity of about eight million tonnes to export and that will generate a foreign exchange of about $700m into the country.”
He added, “Later in 2019, we will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that will enable us to export clinker, initially to our grinding plants we are building in West Africa. Not only will these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants.
“They will also help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria, something of which all stakeholders can be proud of.”
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Joseph Makoju, said the company in 2019 would focus on efficiency gains and achieving higher sales in domestic and export markets.
“A major priority for us is to get these export terminals on stream so we can replace non-African imports in Cameroon, rake in foreign currency for Nigeria and increase the utilisation of our Nigerian plants,” he added.