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‘Why Nigeria ranks low in cement consumption’
Worried by the increased spate of collapsed buildings all over the country, some experts in the cement manufacturing industry have ranked Nigeria to be one of the lowest consumers of cement in the world going below 800 tonnes per unit, which they noted is dismal, when compared to what other countries in the world use.
Speaking at a facility tour of the Dangote cement plant in Ibese over the weekend, Director, Technical Services, Dangote Cement, Mr Sunday Adondua, who gave a presentation of the current milestones of the company, pointed out that though cement consumption in Nigeria was on the increase, “a lot still need to be done to boost the overhead consumption in terms of quality buildings and road construction.”
He pointed out that with recent investments to the tune of N1.8trn by manufacturers, capacity would triple in 10 years and that Nigeria would be the second highest producer in Africa after Egypt and an exporter to the West African region by 2015.
He noted that at present, Dangote accounts for over 50% of cement production in the company and still has plans for more expansion.
Also speaking on the milestones of the Dangote cement companies in Nigeria, the the Director-General, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, pointed out that Nigeria had so far saved about N270 billion on the importation of cement within the last three years.
He further pointed out that N30 billion was spent on the importation of cement this year, compared to N300 billion spent in the last three years.
Odumodu said this was in line with the Federal Government’s plan on import substitution policy, adding that it also conformed with the government’s transformation agenda plans.
“We are happy that the Federal Government’s policy is working, most especially in the cement sector. This will also save the country of foreign exchange. In five years to come, we hope to see more Nigerians getting involved in this sector. This is the reason why SON is doing everything to support the sector. Today, we are aware that Nigeria can actually almost meet the total demand,” Odumodu said.
He announced plans to put in place new quality assurance measures which were aimed at ensuring compliance with global standards in building materials manufacturing.
According to Odumodu, SON would begin the process with visits to the three main cement sites in the country, after which a stakeholders’ forum will be held.
He said the forum would be used as a platform for the development of a new framework for quality assurance along the cement manufacturing, sales and usage value chain.