Africa’s largest cement Company, Dangote Cement, has commissioned its $300 million plant in Mfila, Congo Brazzaville.
The 1.5mtpa capacity cement plant was commissioned on Thursday amid ecstasy by the government and the indigenes of the Country.
The plant also has potentials to create about 1000 direct employment and thousands of several other indirect jobs.
While inaugurating the country’s biggest plant, President Denis Sassou Nguesso, said the investment was an industrial revolution within the Economic Community of the Central African States (CEMAC).
He said his country was happy to host the investment.
According to him, his government has observed the operations of Dangote cement in other African countries and it has helped buoy their economies by sparking off other allied industries expressing the hope that Congo situation would not be an exception.
The Congolese President described the coming on stream of the Dangote cement as timely and encouraging because it is starting operations at a time the total government revenues have plummeted by 31.3 per cent and revenues from the oil sector have fallen 65.1 per cent since 2015 due to a slide in global crude prices.
President Mohammadu Buhari who was represented at the event by a delegation led by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote and his Cement Company for championing economic renaissance of Africa.
The sterling accomplishment of construction of cement plants across several African countries, made the Dangote Cement brand, and indeed Aliko Dangote himself, worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
President Buhari said his government has consistently supported and encouraged the Dangote Group in its quest to contribute its quota to the economic emancipation of the African continent, which is blessed with a plethora of natural resources.
“I believe that it is only home-grown practical solutions that can address the myriad issues plaguing Africa today and one of such challenges that Africa has been grappling with for decades is the infrastructure deficit.
“I am confident that massive investments in cement production, which is a key driver of infrastructural development, will contribute in no small measure, to addressing this perennial problem.”
Buhari recalled with satisfaction that local cement manufacturers such as Dangote Cement, Lafarge and BUA, have exploited one of the solid minerals, limestone which is a basic input for cement production.
“The backward integration policy of the Federal Government in the cement sector, which was launched in 2002, has contributed to this success story by successfully substituting imports with local production, we have saved over $2 billion spent on cement importation into Nigeria, annually.
“We have also started using cement for road construction in the country due to its numerous advantages over the more common bituminous road.
“Again, in this area, Dangote Cement is leading the charge, through AG-Dangote, its joint venture with Andrade-Gutierrez, a construction giant in Brazil”, Nigeria’s President stated.
Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, in his address said his company was delighted to have completed the plant on schedule.
He added Dangote Cement’s 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum plant has more than doubled the total cement production capacity of Congo-Brazzaville, which now stands at 2.550 million metric tonnes per annum, far in excess of national demand.
“It is envisaged that this will contribute substantially to the availability and affordability of cement in the country and the Republic of the Congo will no longer need to depend on imports to bridge the gap between demand and supply.
“It is our hope that the inauguration of the plant will boost Congo’s economy, conserve foreign exchange that would otherwise have been spent on imports for the country, and create employment opportunities down the value chain.”, he stated.