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Gets new SON certification
 
Group of Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju has said that the investments of the foremost cement company and its expansion drive across African countries were very strategic to contribute to Africa economy and make its products the most preferred by consumers.
He stated this at the weekend during a partnership visit and plant facility tour by top officials of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to the Ibese Cement Plant of the Company in Ogun state.
 
The Cement GMD said that the Dangote Cement is way ahead of competition in quality, volume production size and production automation saying these are parts of the results of continuous investments by the management. 
 
Engr. Makoju who was represented by the Dangote Cement National Sales and Distribution Director, Adeyemi Fajobi stated that besides the investments in expansion to ramp up volume, such investments have added value to the economies of the African countries where the company has presence.
 
To date, Fajobi disclosed that Dangote Cement operates in 14 countries in Africa with efforts on to expand to other three within the next few months to make its presence felt in 17 countries. The ultimate aim, he stated is to help other African countries to attain self-sufficiency.
 
In the last ten years, Dangote cement has embarked on aggressive expansion drive which has seen it having an annual production of cement to the tune of over 29 million in its three production plants in Ibese, Obajana and Gboko thus effectively eliminating importation of cement.
 
“Besides our continuous expansion, we also export to counties like Ghana, Benin and Togo. These are sources foreign exchange for our dear nation. Where ever we operate we operate as economic partners because we add value to the economy by creating employments.
 
“Our commitment is not only to meet production target but quality and safety standard in our operations and this is one of the reasons we partner the regulatory agencies like the SON to devise means of keep up the standard and raising the bar where necessary.”
 
Mr. Fajobi also explained how Dangote Cement has been able to check the incidence faking of its products through its expansion of volume availability, saying adulteration and faking of products thrive where the original products are not easily available suggesting that with the availability of Dangote cement in every nooks and crannies of Nigeria, the problem of faking has been checked considerably.
 
In his presentation, the General Manager, Production, Ibese Cement, Engr. Sunday Adondua explained that Dangote Cement has gone far in its quest to lead in cement manufacturing in Africa disclosing that the Company now export Klinker, a major cement production component to some African countries.
 
According to him, Dangote Cement now export Klinkers to the tune of about 2 million per annum and that these constitute a boost to the Nigerian economy.
 
In his remark, the Director-General of SON, Osita Anthony Akpoloma, represented by Joseph Ugbaja, Group Head, Building and Civil said the partnership with the Dangote Cement was for the good of the industry and that so far Dangote cement has been a leading light in the cement sector of the built industry
 
He explained that SON relationship with Dangote dates back to the inception of Dangote cement manufacturing in Nigeria and that the Son has always visited the company’s plant on routine quarterly inspections.
 
Engr. Ugbaja stated the Organization has also certified Dangote Cement products on the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme which is an attestation to its goods product quality and the capacity to conduct in-process test and in-house test on its finished products in conformity with the standards.
 
“It may interest you to note that the revised standards for cement has been approved by the Standard Council of Nigeria and ready for implementation in response to your call for review”, he added.
 
The SON boss advised other sector operatives to borrow a leaf from Dangote cement’s model and invest in quality and volume expansion.
 
Highlights of the visit of the SON officials was the award of certificates to all those who came on the visit and gala night to make the visit memorable.
 
Source: The Guardian
 

Dangote Cement ,Africa’s largest cement producer, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30th June 2017, posting a 12.6 percent increase in sales volume across Africa.

In the financials released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange indicated that the increase in sales volume showed a growing capture of Pan-African market as Dangote Cement continues to gain grounds.

Revenues from operations in Nigeria increased by 34.5 percent to ?291.4 billion while Pan-Africa revenue increased by 63.7 percent to ?124.4B from ?76.0B mainly as a result of increased volumes and foreign exchange gains when converting the sales from country local currency into Naira.

Analysis of the half year result revealed that sales volumes of African operations increased by 12.6 percent to 4.7 million metric tons with Sierra Leone making a 53 kt maiden contribution.

Record of sales from its operations scattered around the African continent revealed that a total of 1.1million ‘metric tons of cement was sold in Ethiopia, almost 0.7 million metric tons sold in Senegal, 0.6 million metric tons sold in Cameroon, and 0.5 million tons in Ghana.

Also, 0.4 million metric tons of cement was sold in Tanzania and 0.3 million tons in Zambia. Sales volumes from Nigerian operations fell from 8.8Mt to 6.9Mt, occasioned by the onset of rains which stalled many construction projects.

Reflecting on the half year results, Dangote Cement’s Chief Executive Officer, Onne van der Weijde expressed satisfaction that the company’s revenues have continued to grow despite low sales from the Nigerian operations noting that the revenues grew on the strength of sales from other African operations

Said he: “Our revenues have continued to grow despite the lower volumes seen in Nigeria, especially because of the recent heavy rains. Our margins have improved significantly, helped by improved efficiencies and a much better fuel mix in Nigeria.

“We are using much more gas and increasing our use of coal mined in Nigeria, thus reducing our need for foreign currency and supporting Nigerian jobs.

”Our Pan-African operations are growing well and increasing market share. We saw our the first sales from Sierra Leone in the first quarter and our new plant in the Republic of Congo will be in production at the end of July, further increasing our footprint across Africa and strengthening our position as its leading manufacturer of cement.”

The Company reports that it estimated that Nigeria’s total market for cement was 10.2 million tonnes (Mt), 23.2% lower than the estimated 13.3Mt sold in Nigeria in the first half of 2016. Of total market sales in the first half of 2017, just 0.1Mt was imported.

“As a result of the slower market, our Nigeria operation sold nearly 6.9Mt of cement, down 21.8% on the 8.8Mt sold in the first half of 2016. We estimate our market share to have been about 64.5% during the first six months of 2017.

Dangote Cement is a high-growth, low-debt, internationally diversified company that has just paid a dividend amounting to nearly 75% of 2016 net profits to shareholders. “The recent publication of our credit ratings highlights the financial strength we have achieved through our unwavering focus on the profitable expansion of the business, underpinned by our belief that we must remain prudent in our financial management.”, Mr. Weijde stated.

Dangote Cement Plc, controlled by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, said it may shut its operations in Ethiopia if authorities in the central state of Oromia don’t reverse an order to cement makers to hand over control of some parts of their businesses to local young people.

Oromia state’s East Shewa Zone administration wants the Nigerian company to outsource its pumice, sand and clay mines to youth groups or be responsible for “any problems” that may arise, according to a letter from
the authority to Dangote that was seen by Bloomberg and verified with a representative of East Shewa’s administration. The regional government sees the transfer of jobs in pumice production as a way to ease youth unemployment and quell unrest, according to the document.

Any mismanagement of mining infrastructure including buildings and excavators could “lead to total breakdown of our business,” Dangote Executive Director Edwin Devakumar said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, last week. The cement maker will write to the federal government this week to ask it to intervene and will consider shutting the plant in Mugher, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Addis Ababa, as a “last option” if this fails, he said. The company listed Ethiopia as one of its three “key” markets, along with Nigeria and South Africa, in a presentation in May.

There’s “no intention to displace any investment,” so long as Dangote is “working by the laws and regulations in our region and country,” Tekele Uma, head of Oromia’s transport authority, said by phone. “If anyone’s complaining about Oromia regional state, we’re ready to talk with them. Any investment can come. Any investment can go.”

Motuma Mekassa, Ethiopia’s minister of mining, petroleum and natural gas, said by phone he wasn’t aware of an attempt by Dangote to reach his office. An official at the federal ministry said Dangote should make an approach through “appropriate channels,” as opposed to through the media, asking for his name to be withheld, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

The Ethiopian government is searching for ways to reduce youth unemployment after violent protests by Oromo communities over alleged land dispossession, political marginalization and repression led the government to declare a state of emergency last year. Dangote Cement was among several businesses attacked during the unrest. The protests triggered a 20 percent slump in foreign investment to $1.2 billion in the six months through December compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the government.

Foreign Investment in Ethiopia Slumps After Business Attacks

The order to outsource mining is “a violation of our rights because the government has given us a mining license,’’ said Devakumar, who was Dangote Cement’s chief executive officer until 2015. “If I don’t have limestone and additives my cement plant is useless.”

Although the disputes haven’t forced Nigeria’s biggest listed company to halt production, it will miss targets if the impasse isn’t broken, the executive director said. Disruption in pumice flows will reduce output and trigger job cuts, Devakumar said. Dangote employs about 1,500 workers directly in the country, while an estimated 15,000 people earn a living indirectly through the firm’s cement and mining facilities, he said.

The disagreement is also hampering Dangote’s Ethiopian expansion plans. The company has stopped an advance payment on a contract to double production capacity of the 2.5 million metric-ton per year plant after signing an agreement, Devakumar said.

The company has spent more than $700 million in the country and is “discouraged from investing more,” he said. Ethiopia’s government said in February it’s only likely to attract $3.2 billion of foreign direct investment this year, compared with a target of $3.5 billion.

Dangote Cement, which has a market value of $11.1 billion, has expanded rapidly across Africa since 2014 and now operates in 9 countries aside from Nigeria. The shares were little changed in Lagos on Thursday.

Aliko Dangote is now a coal miner as Tanzania has offered his Dangote Cement Company in the southeastern town of Mtwara, land to mine coal for its operations.

Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals at the weekend handed a 10-square-kilometre plot of land to the $500 million cement factory set up in 2015 by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. The factory has an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes.

According to NAN and local media The Citizen, the coal concession was sanctioned by President John Magufuli to allow the company get a reliable supply of coal to fuel its activities.

Tanzania has banned the importation of coal from South Africa and Tancoal, the only one coal producing company in the country, cannot meet the entire market demand. Dangote runs on expensive diesel generators and requested Tanzanian government support last year to supply natural gas at a reduced price.

President Magufuli later intervened after a meeting with Nigerian billionaire and the company’s owner Aliko Dangote over stalled negotiations on prices.

He blamed middlemen for the delay in supply plans and said Dangote “will now buy natural gas directly from the state-run TPDC (Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation)”. Dangote, Africa’s biggest cement producer, is seeking to double Tanzania’s annual output of cement to 6 million tonnes. It plans to roll out plants across Africa.

 

- NAN

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