Dangote Cement Plc, on Sunday said that it had set the pace with the exportation of 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker to a neighbouring African country, Senegal.
The company, Africa’s biggest cement producer, said the “historic maiden voyage” started from its export terminal in Apapa Port, Lagos at the weekend.
It said in a statement that it had gradually made Nigeria, which until recently was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, self-sufficient in cement production, and an exporter of cement clinker to other countries.
Dangote Cement said the exportation of clinker would also place Nigeria as one of the leading clinker exporters in the world.
It said the development would enable Dangote Cement to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and by so doing, contribute to the improvement of intra-regional trade within the ECOWAS region.
The Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki, said the increased exportation of clinker and cement to other African countries would boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and reduce unemployment in the country.
He said: “The beauty of what we have done is that we are going to be generating foreign exchange for the country in terms of dollars and euros.
“For every batch of clinker we export, the money comes back to Nigeria. The amount we are talking about is not small.
“Presently, Dangote Cement should either be the number one or number two exporter of cement in Africa, and the revenue we have generated in the form of foreign exchange is running into millions.”
Ladan-Baki disclosed that the company would also be launching its export terminal in Onne in the next few days, adding that the export terminal would enable the company to export clinker, initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants being built across West Africa.
“This vessel, being the maiden ship is exporting 27,800 metric tonnes to Senegal and this is just a tip of the ice-berg as to what we have in plan. What we have in plan is to send clinker from Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana.
“Our target is to export at least 4 million metric tonnes of clinker annually to various parts of Africa, ” the Group Executive Director said.
He said the terminal would assist Dangote to actualise the full potential of the company’s investment in cement.
“This feat by Dangote is going to generate a lot of jobs because the export terminal has already created jobs for many Nigerians. As at now, the number of employed Nigerians at the terminal have reached 100. We are targeting about 200 to 300 workers in Lagos terminal alone,” Ladan-Baki added.
According to the statement, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria commended Dangote Cement for leading the way for Nigeria to become one of the biggest cement and clinker exporters in the world.