- Aliko Dangote, last week, stated that his company decided to invest well over $400 million in the Zambian cement plant due to the enabling environment created by the East African country.
- Dangote, who stated this at the commissioning of the cement plant in Zambia, held over the weekend, said that apart from the cement plant, the company has also built a 30 megawatts coal plant to generate electricity around the facility.
- He added that the plant would only need 20 megawatts of electricity, while 10 megawatt would be available to the host community.
“Our choice of Zambia is also informed largely by the country’s unique socio-economic status. For instance, nearly one-half of Zambia’s 14.5 million people live in urban centres, while the rural areas are under-populated. This makes Zambia one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most highly urbanised countries. Of course, this high level of urbanisation invariably requires massive investments in infrastructure to keep pace with the rate of growth and development.
“We hope to bridge the supply gap with our multi-million dollar cement plant, which I am informed, ranks among one of the biggest investments in the construction and building materials sector in Zambia, by an African company,” he said.
- He stated that when the plant is fully in operation, it would be producing the 42.5 grade of cement, which is the highest quality in the market. The 42.5 grade or simply 3X, stands for extra strength, extra yield and extra life. It is our hope that this project that has created both direct and indirect jobs, will ultimately change the face of Ndola and by extension, that of Zambia,” Dangote said.
- On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), he said the host communities where the plant operate would assist the Maisaiti community to build a school, a hospital and other social amenities, as part of its CSR initiative, just as it did at its Obajana, Gboko and Ibese cement plants in Nigeria, as well as in other African countries where it has plants.
“We also intend to set up a scholarship scheme in accredited universities in Zambia, which shall be available on a yearly basis, for qualified high school students from the Maisaiti District, whose courses of study are relevant to our operations. In addition, we shall assist small-scale farmers in the locality by providing funding, yearly, to a duly incorporated and registered farming co-operative. We shall work with the Chiwala Royal Establishment here in Ndola, to execute these projects. It is our hope that these projects will bring more development in the district,” he added.
- He stated that the company would expand the investments not only in cement manufacturing but also in the agriculture and petroleum sectors in Nigeria, which again, are areas in which Nigeria has comparative advantage.
He said that over the next three years, “our target is to expand installed cement manufacturing capacity in Africa outside Nigeria to 40mtpa at par with Nigeria during the same period.”