AFRICANGLOBE – The government of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has praised the effort of the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and promised to provide the enabling atmosphere to help his investment in cement production thrive well in the country.
The commendation, conveyed through a letter from the government of Ethiopia to Dangote, came on the heels of a similar appreciation by the government of Tanzania over the recent ground-breaking ceremony of the $500 million worth 3million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) cement factory at Mtwara, Tanzania by the cement manufacturer.
Dangote Cement had launched a 2.5m mtpa plant in Mugher, Adaberga District in Ethiopia, with a pledge by the company to ensure that it is completed on schedule.
The Ethiopian government in a letter to Dangote and signed by the State Minister of Industry, Tadesse Haile, said it was happy with steady progress being recorded at the plant construction site and stressed the determination of the government to do all possible to ensure the construction continues unhindered.
“We received the project progress report from your office and it was a pleasure for us to see the remarkable progress being made by your esteemed organisation in the setting up of this prestigious project”, the letter read in part.
According to the letter, the Dangote Cement plant has become a successful reference point in the government’s task of luring foreign investors to come and do business in the country, saying the success of Dangote cement will be a boost to the country’s search for more investors and the overall creation of employment opportunities.
He said, “Ministry of Industry is proud to showcase the project to prospective investors as a show case of successful foreign investment in Nigeria. It is commendable that the project is transforming the region and has generated employment opportunities to a large section of the local population.”
Appreciating the Group’s investment, he called on Dangote to explore other investment opportunities in the country adding that the Ministry of Industry would offer full support to ensure the realisation of the projects.
An excited Prime Minister of Tanzania, Mizengo Pinda, had earlier expressed the country’s appreciation to Dangote for choosing to invest in the country, saying the economic benefits of a new cement plant to his country, was unquantifiable.
While addressing the gathering during the ground breaking ceremony of the $500 million cement factory at Mtwara, the Prime Minister said the commencement of the construction of the plant opened a new vista in the country’s quest for foreign investment, and that the new plant signalled the beginning of a new business relationship between Nigeria and his country.
Pinda said he was particularly happy that the investment came from an African to a sister African country, saying it was “an irony, that prior to the coming of Dangote cement, in spite of the abundance of limestone, a necessary raw material in cement manufacture in Mtwara, Tanzania was experiencing a deficit in cement production and supply.”
Said he; “We could not bring in cement plants with capacities to produce cement in large quantities, so that demand of cement would be met. Growing demand for cement with inadequate supply led to deficit and high prices.
“While this was becoming a growing concern to the Government, we came to know about the availability of Cement Grade Limestone in huge quantities in this village in Mtwara. But this was a challenge for us, as Mtwara is quite far from the market of cement, which is mainly in the cities.”
Dangote Cement is Nigeria’s leading cement producer with three plants in Nigeria and plans to expand in 13 other African countries. The Group is a fully integrated quarry-to-customer producer with production capacity of 19.25mta in Nigeria, with plans to increase to at least 29mta in 2015.
It plans to build more integrated, grinding and import facilities across Africa, bringing its total capacity to 55mta by the end of 2016. Dangote Cement’s Obajana plant in Kogi state, Nigeria, is the largest in Africa with 10.25mta capacity across three lines and a further 3mta capacity currently being built.
Dangote Cement has announced an investment of more than $2.5 billion to build manufacturing plants and import terminals across Africa.
By: Cruso Osagae